Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyemi (2018)
Themes: Fantasy, Magic, Adventure, Young Adult
It is rare to find a book that has such an action packed plot that not once does the reader get bored, Children of Blood and Bone achieved this instantly. This story is an epic, an adventure that had so many layers and twists, it was impossible not to be completely hooked.
This story follows a world where magic has been eradicated, but not for all. Within a few people, magic has been reawakened, the main character Zélie included. She is a fearsome lead, who is not to be reckoned with, and yet that seems to be all that the other characters do. There’s wide mix of characters in this book, the heroic lead, the protective brother, the loyal friend and the tempting enemy. It offers the plot from various perspectives which allows the reader to really see what’s happening from all angles.
Zélie is my favourite character to read from the perspective of, mainly because she is just cool and I love her. She is fighting for what she believes in for her people and for her family, she’s a character with morals and more importantly she is a realistic character. She wavers and goes through stages of being unsure of herself, she isn’t unstoppable, she is just a girl. I like when authors write a character’s weakness like this, it makes them more real and believable.
This book has one of my absolute favourite features in a fiction, magic. I love reading about magic, but specifically I love it when that magic is in a certain form e.g. fire, ice, that sort of thing. This book features the magi, stripped of their power, but each magi used to be associated with one type of magic. Zélie’s mother was a reaper, meaning she had a connection to the dead. Usually an ability linked to the dead isn’t one that is a positive ability, but this book spins that on the head and this power becomes a very powerful one. When I learnt about her talent, it made me desperate to know what other character’s were able to do. I want to step into this world and explore it more, I want to see more abilities and know more about these magi clans.
The setting was so varied, I can close my eyes now and see every scene. Taking place in what I have seen referred to as a fantasy version of Nigeria, Orïsha is a vast world, filled with various wonders. Temples, forests, deserts, there were plenty of settings for me to be able to fall into. I’ve never visited anywhere like this before, so my imagination turned this world into a place of colour, but also of ruin, places left behind, cultures long lost. It is probably one of the most beautiful described books I have read for a long time.
I can’t praise this book without mentioning Tomi Adeyemi, who published this book at 24, that’s just over a year old than I am! She has done so much to speak out about what she believes in through this book. If you have a copy then please read the author’s note at the end, it’s so important and it may open your eyes to some things you’ve never really thought about before. The representation is superb, I loved reading about characters that weren’t westernised, the amazing people in this book are unique and interesting and different from what we would usually see in YA. This is exactly why Adeyemi has written them of course, she wants to offer representation for a wider audience of readers, and I hope that she has!
This plot follows the usual YA tropes, but they don’t at all feel recycled or repetitive, they feel new and unique. This book was truly an adventure from start to finish, I loved it.