At long last, Tomi Adeyemi‘s Children of Blood and Bone is available in bookstores everywhere!
The novel follows Zélie, a teen from the nation of Orïsha, where the maji clans of the land were decimated by a cruel king. When Zélie meets and unlikely ally who can help her bring the magic back, they’ll have to risk everything to change their world.
The novel hit shelves a week ago and we experienced some storm delays along the way, but now it’s finally time to explore this spectacular YA debut!
Check out the maji clan chart from Fierce Reads below and use the system explained at the top of the graphic to discover which clan you belong to!
Following this lovely formula, I am a Burner. So I’m going to tell you about the hottest elements from this amazing novel!
Eye-catching world building
Orïsha is described with such striking detail that you can’t help but feel enveloped in this rich fantasy world. From the royal palace to fishing villages, from mountain sanctuaries to desert cities with criminal edges, there’s just so much too see! Zélie’s journey takes us to all these places and more, rich description brings it all to life with fantastic realism!
Zélie is amazing, of course, she’s clever and badass, but still haunted by her past, unsure of her future, and a little vulnerable. Her foil is Amari, who grew up in a place of extreme privilege, is generally meek, and doesn’t always “get it right” as she tries to help Zélie, though she has good intentions. The relationship between the two is rocky and one of the most interesting dynamics in the novel. Zélie’s brother Tzain is a steadfast companion who’d risk it all for the people he loves and he’s just so likable. Then there’s Inan, one of the most fiercely complicated characters I’ve ever read. I don’t know if I love him, hate him, love to hate him, or hate to love him. Maybe… maybe all of the above?
Sure, magic is always cool to some degree, but the powers displayed in Children and Blood and Bone are wild! Just look at that list of maji clans toward the top of the post. There are so many different forms of magic, all of which have varied implications depending on the maji wielding it. At times, magic can save lives and at other times, it can be brutal and terrifying. Readers only get a taste of the maji powers in this book, so we’re absolutely salivating as we wait for more examples as the story goes on.
The basis of this novel is the oppression of a marginalized group by those who fear the “other.” This is something that still very much happens today. There’s often talk about the oppressed raising their voice and taking back their power, and Tomi Adeyemi has taken that to a very literal level, as Zélie’s journey is meant to do just that. The novel also confronts things like privilege and colorism in insightful, emotional ways. As is the case in many fantasy novels (though it’s done with varying degrees of success), the issues in Orïsha and not Orïsha’s alone–they’re ours, too.
The twisty romantic tension
Ladies and gents, welcome to your unexpected obsession! The book cover mentions “growing feelings for the enemy”, but the relationships in this book aren’t child’s play. There are so many layers, so many factors to consider and the tension is real. I didn’t know who to root for or against, though I got a better idea toward the end of the novel… for now. I have a funny feeling I’ll change my mind ten times over on ALL the relationships in this series before it’s over. Of course, that means I’m dying for the next book to get more information!