Sunday, 18 February 2018

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi - review

Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books (8th March)

They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.
Now we rise.

Zélie remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. When different clans ruled – Burners igniting flames, Tiders beckoning waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoning forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, anyone with powers was targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Only a few people remain with the power to use magic, and they must remain hidden.

Zélie is one such person. Now she has a chance to bring back magic to her people and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must learn to harness her powers and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where strange creatures prowl, and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to come to terms with the strength of her magic – and her growing feelings for an enemy. (Publisher's blurb)

As soon as I heard about this book, I loved the idea of a foundation in African mythology and was thrilled to receive a proof copy from My Kinda Book. For me, Children of Blood and Bone far exceeded the hype and I would rank it as one of my top 5 fantasy books of all time.

I think the real strength is in the plotting. The stakes are high and the book piles on the conflict throughout! There was a fantastic balance of lighter moments, relationships and fast-paced action. 

The three viewpoints were also really effective, delivering very different perspectives and motivations. I thought all of the characters were nuanced and interesting, from the most minor characters to the main ones. I loved Zélie the most of all, for her strength and the journey she went through as a character.

I don't think I've ever read a book based on African mythology and I loved the world-building in Children of Blood and Bone. The politics, magic and mythology interwove into a rich, complex but accessible world.

This is the most exciting series I've read for a long time and I think all of fans of YA, fantasy or just a fantastic story should read it.

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