Title: Children of Blood and Bone
Author: Tomi Adeyemi
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Series: Legacy of Orisha, book one
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.
Children of Blood and Bone has been in my to be read pile since before its publication, and since there were many holds on it, I couldn’t renew it. As soon as I finished Truly Devious, I pushed it to the top of the stack and plunged into the dangerous, beautiful, and magical world that Adeyemi renders; this book was absolutely breathtaking. I finished it on Saturday, and I’m still reeling from it. The prose was beautiful, the plot original, the characters remarkable, its brutality terrible. This is one of the best books of 2018, and I will never forget it; it has left a lasting impression upon my heart, shining with humanity and empathy. Told from three different points of view, this book captured my imagination and held me by the throat and didn’t let go, not even until after I closed it. I cannot wait until the sequel comes out!
Children of Blood and Bone takes place in the once magical land of Orisha, told from three different points of view: Amari and Inan, a prince and princess who fear the maji, a powerful race of people who harness different abilities: some can control the elements, others, the dead, and more still have the power to heal or even kill with disease. There’s Zelie as well, the defiant, strong-willed daughter of a powerful Reaper maji, heartbroken and angry after the King Saran has crushed her people, and her heritage. The three teens’ destinies collide (literally) when Amari crosses her path with a magical scroll, offering help. Inan, under orders from his vicious and corrupt father, chases the pair across the country, hiding a dangerous secret that could get him killed. Zelie is determined to fight back in any way that she can; when she receives signs that magic could return to the land, she jumps at the chance. Three people must decide if the perilous quest is worth seeing through, dealing with long nursed grudges and prejudices along the way.
This book, for me, was nothing less than a game-changer. It pulled absolutely no punches; Adeyemi throws you straight into the thick of the conflict, exposing you to the beauty and brutality of the broken land of Orisha. The prose was gorgeous, perfect, hard-hitting. I loved the worldbuilding of the novel; I was absolutely spellbound. I can’t wait for more from the world that the author has created. I laughed, I cheered, I cried. (Mostly I cried. This book was heavy and soulful in the best kind of way.) This book took every single thing I loved and flipped it on its head, and I’m so happy about it! I loved how the book took place in a West-African inspired country; it’s so nice to finally see diverse books in the spotlight! (Now if we could just get that trend to continue…) But I think my favorite part of Children of Blood and Bone was its characters, each distinct and real and wonderful; I loved the development of each of them. It was so refreshing, especially as far as Amari and Inan were concerned. I also really loved the way that Adeyemi used the book as a platform to raise awareness toward the issue of police brutality towards African Americans—her author’s note at the end of the book tore me open, split me apart, and I couldn’t stop crying for days. Frankly, I’m still very shaken by this dark and beautiful novel, and I’ll never forget it; I can’t wait for more from this promising new author! The bottom line: Gorgeously written, smartly paced with its roots in reality, Children of Blood and Bone is one of the best books of 2018, and all I can say is that I’m salivating for more! Next on deck: Blood Water Paint by Joy McCollough!