You crushed us to build your monarchy on the backs of our blood and bone. Your mistake wasn’t keeping us alive. It was thinking we’d never fight back!
Children of Blood and Bone is a West African (particularly Yorùbá) inspired fantasy, set in the land of Orïsha, a land that once thrived with magic, until the despotic King Saran severed the connection between the gods and the Maji (the people of Orïsha that possessed magical abilities). The Majis were targeted and killed under the orders of King Saran. Now, there are only divîners, people with dormant magic abilities, the divîners are identified by their significantly darker skin and their snow-white hair, which clearly sets them apart from from the rest of Orïsha. Now, King Saran, wants to make sure magic remains dead , while keeping all the divîners oppressed by taxing them heavily, and overworking them as labourers in the stocks.
Magic has been lost for eleven years, with no hope of ever returning, until a magical scroll is found by a sea in Warri, this scroll, combined with other objects; the sunstone and the bone dagger, can restore the connection between the gods and the Maji, therefore, bringing magic back to Orïsha for good. Before magic disappeared from Orïsha, when a divîner turned thirteen, their magical abilities began to manifest, depending on whichever god touched them. Each Maji had a different power, ranging from controlling minds and dreams, to making fire, to taming animals, to controlling earth and metal, to controlling water, and many more abilities. The Maji were very powerful people.
Children of Blood and Bone is focused on four characters, Zélie Adebola (the protagonist), Amari (the runaway daughter of King Saran), Prince Inan (the semi-protagonist) and Tzain (Zélie’s older brother), the fates of these four, are linked by the gods of Orïsha. The story is told from alternating points of view of Zélie, Amari, and Inan. Zelie, the main character, is a divîner, who had to watch her mother die in the Maji genocide committed by King Saran when she was just a child. Now, she lives with her father and brother in the ocean village of Ilorin. The people of Ilorin are forced to pay a very high tax, Zélie and her family could not afford to pay the tax, so they had no choice but to go to the city of Lagos, to trade, which was where it all began.
I think about the way her corpse hung from that tree. I think about the king who took her away.
Amari is the daughter of the king who hates magic, and has done everything in his power to destroy it. Despite that, she is nothing like her father. Amari never really fit in within her role as a princess or her family. When she witnesses her father committing another horrific act, she runs away from the palace, leaving everything behind. Inan is the Prince of Orïsha, next in line to the throne. He’s a very conflicted and unstable character, constantly struggling between who he wants to be and what has always been forced upon him, and he is asked by his father, the king to kill Zélie and to bring Amari back to him. But deep down, he has a good heart that refrains him from the person his father wants him to be. He goes on to make decisions that are quite unpredictable, decisions that would change the fate of Orïsha forever.
You have your duty and your heart. To choose one means the other must suffer.
There was so much hype around this book before it was published, and it was totally deserving of every bit of it. It was filled with a lot of action, from the chase scenes between Inan and the trio (Zélie, Amari, and Tzain) to the battles using swords, staffs, and magic, There was really no boring moment with this book. I was completely overwhelmed, it was so beautifully written, makes it really hard to criticize, if I had to find something to criticize, it would be the speedy development of romance between the characters, especially between Inan and Zélie, it felt too quick. I loved the characters in this story, Amari’s character development was, interesting from becoming a shy and timid princess, to becoming really brave warrior, Zélie’s bravery and daring spirit, every character was absolutely unique and intriguing.
Children of Blood and Bone is Adeyemi’s first published book, and the first volume of a trilogy, it’s also going to be adapted into a movie by Fox 2000. She writes like an author who has been in the game for years, I can only imagine how strong her writing her writing skills would become. Her writing feels very poetic, it was a masterpiece. The story ended on a cliffhanger and realized how much more is still to come, it was suspense filled I’m really looking forward reading the sequels. You can purchase copy of the book from here or find them on Twitter @TheBookDealerNG Thanks for reading.
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Here is an excerpt form the audio book :