Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Every now and then, a book comes along and ravishes your soul. It tears through every emotion you have, and leaves you feeling both empty and fulfilled.
Children of Blood and Bone is one of those books. Yes, it is about maji, magic, gods, and goddesses – but it is also about courage, friendship, love, faith – and cruelty, fear, loss, pain.
“I lift my torch to the gods and goddesses, to the maji who dance at their feet. It’s imposing. Invading. It unravels everything I’ve been taught to think.”
You can take away the magic, and be left with a story from reality. OUR reality. Of people hurt for simply being who they are. Of oppression and cruelty in a fight for power. Of people being judged based on the colour of their skin. There is so much packed into this book that I could never do it justice.
Okay, down to the details.
Children of Blood and Bone is about Zélie, Amari, and Tzain, and the mission they have been entrusted with to bring back magic in Orïsha. They live in a world driven by fear of the ruthless king. But the three know they must do everything they can to bring back magic. The consequences of failing are too terrible to even imagine.
Their journey takes them to all sorts of places, and throws them into the company of all sorts of people. Some help. Some hinder. Some support. Some betray. And always at their backs is the crown prince, Inan, chasing them. Hunting them.
MY EMOTIONS WERE ALL OVER THE PLACE THANKS TO THIS BOOK!
In case you couldn’t tell, I LOVED Children of Blood and Bone. The story is epic. The characters are unique. The world-building is brilliant. THE REPRESENTATION IS EVERYTHING!
“I think about the way her dark skin glowed like the summer sun…”
Representation matters. It will always matter. Thank you Tomi Adeyemi for giving life to these dark-skinned characters!
Speaking of characters, I loved all of them! Zélie is determined. Amari is brave. Tzain is loyal. Inan is… oh, Inan! I can’t talk about Inan. I need book two right now!
“They built this world for you, built it to love you. They never cursed at you in the streets, never broke down the doors of your home. They didn’t drag your mother by her neck and hang her for the whole world to see.”
One thing that I loved about this book was that I didn’t love the characters right away. Instead, I liked them well enough, but I grew to love them.
I did not really relate to Zélie at first, as she was so solely focused on her mission. However, as the story goes on, you learn more about her, and she becomes multi-dimensional and, honestly, friendlier. She is a strong character, and in some ways I would love to be more like her.
As for Amari, she bugged me. She’s so protected in her castle that she is scared of nearly everything. Oh, I didn’t mention that she’s the princess? Sister to Inan? The Crown Prince that is chasing them! That aside, I wanted her to step up, and when it mattered, she did! By the end, she was amazing. Her development is absolutely wonderful, and I could not have asked for more.
Tzain is the brother of Zélie, and he has spent his whole life protecting his sister. It’s interesting to see how he develops as his sister becomes stronger and more powerful. She doesn’t necessarily need protection – she can protect herself – but she will always need her brother.
“You must protect those who can’t defend themselves. That is the way of the staff.”
There were also a lot of secondary characters that I appreciated and who felt vital to the story. One of my favourites of course is Roën because his sass and demeanor is everything I love!
“Does everything have to be a joke with you?”
“Not everything… But life’s a lot more fun that way.”
Children of Blood and Bone is quite the ride. It wasn’t necessarily a unique overall story when you really think about it, but it was unique in its details. It grips you, enthralls you, captures you. I cannot recommend this book enough, and I have no doubt that it will be one of my absolute favourites for 2018, if not forever!
“We are all children of blood and bone.”