Title: Children of Blood and Bone
Series: Legacy of Orïsha Series #1
Author: Tomi Adeyemi
Format: Hardcover, 525 pages
Published: March 6th 2018 by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers/Macmillan
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 5 out of 5 Wine Glasses
They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.
Now we rise.
Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.
But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.
Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.
Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.
“We are all children of blood and bone. All instruments of vengeance and virtue. This truth holds me close, rocking me like a child in a mother's arms. It binds me in its love as death swallows me in its grasp.”
Children of Blood and Bone is the first phenomenal installment in the author’s Legacy of Orïsha trilogy. It’s an elaborately-written West African fantasy set in an amazing magically-bereft mythical land called Orïsha and marks the extraordinary debut of Tomi Adeyemi, a Nigerian-American writer and creative writing coach.
Her three teenage protagonists - Zélie, Amari, and Inan - take turns as first-person narrators of their individual quests rendering a multi-dimensional story and documenting each of their vastly different personal journeys. I connected to each from the beginning. They are each strong and committed to what they believe is the right path – but not the same path. I look forward to traveling with them and hopefully seeing their courses coalesce over the next two books in this series.
Supporting characters are colorful and interesting and many have intriguing and/or heart-tugging stories interwoven into this tale.
Following please find a few of my favorite lines from Children of Blood and Bone:
“Gods are nothing without fools to believe in them.”
“Courage does not always roar. Valor does not always shine.”
“In this man - this one wretched man - is an entire kingdom. An entire nation of hate and oppression, staring me in the face. It may have been the guards who broke down the doors in Idaban that day, but they were simply his tools.
“You crushed us to build your monarchy on the backs of our blood and bone. Your mistake wasn't keeping us alive. It was thinking we'd never fight back.”
Children of Blood and Bone has been highly promoted and I can see why! It’s an epic tale teeming with rich settings, political strife, emotional agendas and magic! The story was quickly swept up for the big screen and the movie is in development at Fox 2000/Temple Hill Productions with some noteworthy producers: Karen Rosenfelt and Marty Bowen of Twilight, Maze Runner and The Fault In Our Stars fame. I can’t wait!
In addition, I just saw this past week that Jimmy Fallon is starting a summer reads program and Children of Blood and Bone is one of the five books that he has chosen as candidates to read together – based upon viewers’ votes - over the show’s July vacation. Voting selection ends June 28th!
Children of Blood and Bone is wonderfully written with tenacious, complex characters. If you are looking for a fluffy or romantic read, look elsewhere – though I’m holding out hope that there may be some romantic development later in the trilogy. The story is a fast-paced and action-packed adventure with plenty of unexpected twists. You will most definitely want to immerse yourself in it and absorb every detail. I read the hard cover edition, but, would like to re-live the story with the audio edition in the future – perhaps just before the movie releases. The tale does end with a cliff-hanger, but it’s not one that’s kept me awake nights. If cultural YA mega-fantasies with bold magical overtones stoke your fancy, pick up this book and see what you’re missing!
Suggested Reading Order:
Children of Blood and Bone (Book #1)
Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Book #2) - Expected publication: March 5th 2019
TBD (Book #3) – The Finale! Expected publication: 2020