I had this book preordered because it looked amazing, but then with all the hype I was so afraid to pick it up. Now I’m only upset it took me so long.
Overall: 5/5 Stars
Plot and Themes: 5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 5/5
My Review in a Nutshell: This book was amazing. Honestly, I could go on for days about this book. From the lush writing style to the amazing themes, this book is a must-read for any fantasy fan or anyone at all honestly.
“Let them taste the terror they make us swallow.”
Children of Blood and Bone is a high fantasy novel that takes place in the kingdom of Orisha, where people known as maji once were able to wield magic but were brutally killed under the King’s orders. Zelie’s watched her mother be killed by the King’s men and has faced prejudice and hatred ever since due to her status as a diviner (a child of a maji). When Amari, the princess, discovers artifacts that may help bring magic back to all diviners, Zelie and her brother must try to help. Meanwhile, Inan, the crown prince, is hunting them down and will do anything to prevent the horrors his father told him magic brings.
Before I get into anything else, I need to talk about the writing. It is beautiful. Absolutely breathtaking. I mean, here’s one of my favorite quotes and it isn’t even part of some huge epic scene:
“I release the throwing knife as something I can’t place deflates in my chest. It sinks like disappointment.
It breathes like relief.”
ISNT TOMI ADEYEMI AMAZING? I love lines like this, where the author could have described something a thousand other, easier ways, but nope. She decided to be all amazing and talented and perfect. There were several times that I just had to stop and marvel at how amazing Tomi’s writing style is. I will admit the first 50-75 pages did feel a tiny bit slow to me, but it was necessary, and the rest of the plot was so fast-paced and perfect that I can’t fault it.
Now on to the setting. The worldbuilding in this book is fantastic. While there is a lot to learn about this world, I think it’s handled very well and there’s no really overwhelming exposition dump. Even when a lot of information is being thrown at you, it feels organic and easy to understand and grasp. The world itself is fascinating. Tomi Adeyemi created a unique and interesting world with intriguing lore and mythology, plus sets the stage to further the discussion on racism. Also, YAY for an extremely diverse cast! I can’t wait to see this as a movie and if they whitewash anyone I may have to hurt someone.
“I teach you to be warriors in the garden so you will never be gardeners in the war.”
Speaking of themes and racism, I just love how Tomi handles the subject. This is probably one of my favorite examples of how to deal with a modern issue in a fantasy world. It isn’t a subtle theme at all, but at the same time the moral isn’t spoon-fed to you or forced down your throat. I especially love how it deals with more than one side of the story. You see Zelie, who is dealing with a society that constantly beats her down, but you also see Amari and Inan, two people born with extreme privilege (and I can’t go into more details because spoilers). Anyway, Children of Blood and Bone is fantastic and so many people today need to read it because it’s the relevant and important themes.
Now onto the characters. God, I love these characters. Zelie first. She’s so amazingly strong and determined, yet not unbreakable which I love. Amari was probably the least interesting to me. Don’t get me wrong- I loved her- but she didn’t quite hold my interest as much as Zelie or Inan. However, she was relatable and I loved seeing her grow. Now onto Inan. He was probably my favorite character. He felt the most human and real, with definitely the most interesting development out of the three POV characters. I really hope to see more of him. Also, I loved how the King had a compelling backstory and wasn’t evil for evil’s sake. It really made this book feel more grounded and makes that theme of racism hit harder than it would otherwise.
“I won’t let your ignorance silence my pain”
Pros– Beautiful writing, diverse and fascinating characters, important themes
Cons- That ending killed me. But like, even that’s in a good way…
Overall- 5/5 stars.
Children of Blood and Bone is an important book that any reader will enjoy. I can’t recommend it enough.