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Book Reviews Fantasy Pre Teen and Young Adults

Children of Blood and Bone- Tomi Adeyemi

Tomi Adeyemi did for us with this book what Ryan Coogler did for us with Black Panther. Representation. Orisha is a world of black magical people. The protagonist is black, the sidekicks are black, the king is black, the villain is black. At the core, this book is about institutionalized racism and oppression. Brilliantly written,  It was not reduced to a story where people of color are secondary or otherwise written in for diversity.

You guy!  It has a map!

I get very excited when a book starts with a Map, a family tree or any type of read-along guides.  This book starts with two of my favorite things; a map and a flashback. I was hooked.

Spoiler free roundup

In her debut novel, Tomi Adeyemi introduced us to the world of Orisha (West Africa). Orisha was once ruled by a powerful magical clan (Maji) who had powers ranging from healing to the ability to burn entire buildings to the ground. of course, wherever great power exists there will be an evil overlord. Threatened by the Maji, the king banished, imprisoned and make the use of power obsolete- well that’s if magic did not completely disappear as it did.  Enter Zelie,  a direct descendant of a Maji and a magnet for trouble. When she accidentally stumbled upon what could possibly be the resurgence of magic she is determined to be the one to bring it back. The story is centered around Zelie’s quest to bring magic back with a little help from family; brother Tzain and a rogue Princess; Amari all the while running from crowned Prince Inan who seeks the opposite, to ensure that magical stays buried. Forever.

We are all children of blood and bone. All instruments of vengence and virtue…

This book will leave you spell-bound. The world of Orisha is painted beautifully, the characters are richly developed so much so that you will become highly invested in their victories and crashing downfalls. If you’re a fan of Avatar (The Last Airbender not the one with blue people) or the recently released Netflix animation The Dragon Prince then you will love the similarities here. A Young Adult book about magic but also about defiance, love, family, forgiveness, loyalty, and friendship.

My only complaint in this book was the budding romance between Zelie and Inan and how ‘falling in love’ was something that Adeyemi made sort of compulsory. I won’t lie, I cringed a bit at some of the dialogues between those two, something I strongly believed could’ve been deleted and not take away anything from the novel as a whole.

This debut novel certainly lives up to its hype. It a coming of age masterpiece, a rich descriptive fantasy and a book about a land where everyone is black.