They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.
Now we rise.
Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.
But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.
Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.
Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.
Oh man, I wanted to like Children of Blood and Bone so bad. The premise was something completely new - a breeze of fresh air with the West African inspired mythology. I enjoyed the first half of the book a lot, the three point of views were distinct from each other and they had a set of motives and goals which would eventually clash. I enjoyed learning about their backgrounds and how they experienced the world. The novel was full of tension between the nations, discrimination and prejudice, in other words a rather dark book, and I loved it. Adored it. But then the second half came along, and I started to become more and more bored with each chapter.
Those who have read the book may ask: how on earth were you bored when the novel was so action-packed? In fact, that might be exactly the reason why I became disinterested in the story. While I root for action, too many twists and turns make the novel unfocused. I felt like the story was going a million miles ahead and I struggled to stay along. The novel is full of mythology and worldbuilding, I wasn't sure where to focus while all the action was taking place. There were only a few moments to let the reader have a breather toward the end, and I really missed those moments, to fully take in the incredible world Adeyemi had created.
The absolute strength in my opinion, besides the world-building, which is rich and intense, was the different characters and how they developed throughout the whole novel. I especially enjoyed the prince Inan and Zélie the commoner's point of views, while Amari the Princess was a bit 'meh'. Through these characters, the author took a stand on the issues of institutional racism and discrimination. I thought it was wonderfully written - more young adult books need to have themes like these in them!
Children of Blood and Bone was exciting and thought-provoking read, but in my opinion the novel was too intense and packed, especially towards the end. I know that the novels are supposed to gain speed the closer the readers get to the end, that's how they are built more often than not, but it was too jammed with all the action. I loved the magic element and the core themes, but I can't help wondering if book two is going to be as jammed as the first one? I don't have a lot to say about this book and I think that tells a lot about how I feel about the novel. A lot of people enjoy books which are this fast-paced, but it didn't work for me. Children of Blood and Bone was an ok read for me.