Book Review: Children of Blood and Bone

There is nothing new under the sun. When I read the first few chapters of Children of Blood and Bone, I thought to myself: yeah, ok, I see where this is going. Epic high fantasy with divine magic, an evil empire, an oppressed minority of magic-users, and a chosen-one heroine primed to set everything right after three trials and meeting a wise mentor. When it comes to fantasy fare, that’s the formula, right? Books like that live or die on their execution

Holy freaking cow, Adeyemi executes. 

Zelie’s tale sinks its hooks right into your heart and drags you on a breakneck ride through the blood-soaked magical land of Orisha.

The Basics: 

Title: Children of Blood and Bone
Author: Tomi Adeyemi
Genre: Epic fantasy, Thriller, Adventure, Coming-of-age
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co, 2018

Spoiler-Free Summary:

Before the raid that killed Zelie’s mother, Orishan maji were gifted with the power of the gods. Fearing that power, Emperor Saran killed all fully realized diviner mages and destroyed the artifacts that bound magic to the world… or so he thought. Fate places the rediscovered artifacts in the hands of Zelie, her brother, and the most unthinkable allies as it sets them on a journey to restore magic before it is lost forever. The youths brave increasing dangers and navigate treacherous alliances on the road to the sacred vanishing island which appears once a century.

Why You’ll Love This Book: 

Children of Blood and Bone is a thriller wearing fantasy clothing. There’s a ticking clock, constant danger from overwhelming outside forces, and more action than Amari can shake her sword at. The story grips you right from the beginning, digging spurs into the plot-horse, and galloping towards the final chapter with a gusto.

The characters lead complex, relatable inner lives. Adeyemi makes you fall in love with her well-rounded characters, then shows them absolutely no mercy whatsoever.

Adeyemi’s language is beautifully crisp – it eschews flowery descriptions, opting for the perfect concise image every time. I envy her ability to turn a deft phrase.

Where Can You Find More?

Paywall warning, but Tomi Adeyemi was one of Time’s 100 most influential people of 2020. Check out her website or her backlist. 

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