Series: Legacy of Orisha #1
Written by: Tomi Adeyemi
Published: March 6, 2018 by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers (Macmillan)
Synopsis: Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.
But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and 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 the enemy.
The hype around this book was real. So many people were singing its praising before and after it came out. And seriously, every review I saw was glowing. And while I was incredibly interested in reading it, I was a little nervous because of all that hype. But there was no reason to worry because this book was amazing!
For one thing, this is one of the most inventive and unique worlds I have ever experienced. It's one of those fantasy worlds were the magic that used to be prevalent and has disappeared is coming back into the world. Throughout the book you learn about the magic and its connection to the religion and larger setting of the world. We don't learn a lot of the mechanics of the magic but we do get to see a lot of the magic in action. It was totally fascinating. In a lot of respects this book was familiar, because it reminded me of Avatar: The Last Airbender in the best possible way, and was different at the same time by pulling from African culture. I'm always looking for a unique fantasy world and this book definitely had one.
The other great thing about the world of this book was the political structure. I like when genre fiction pulls from real life events like this book did, and it did it so well. It's a world where an oppressive regime treats people with magic because they perceive them as dangerous. And when magic disappeared they did everything within their power to mistreat them. And then when magic comes back, they see everything as justification for their thoughts on the Maji. It added a really great depth and dimension to the story and made it all the more interesting.
But to be honest this book didn't need much to make it interesting besides the plot. This was an action-packed read full of non-stop adventure. It totally built throughout the book and had lots of great moments that kept me reading from beginning to end. Like a lot of this book it felt completely creative and like a classic fantasy at the same time. It had a great sword and sorcery vibe that I really enjoyed. It built to a thrilling ending that had me emotionally invested. Plus I loved that it had an actual ending while still setting up the next book in the story.
The only thing that I didn't completely love about this book was the characters. Not the characters on the whole, they were great. I really enjoyed Zelie. She was a great protagonist who was tough resourceful and fantastically empathetic. But Zelie wasn't the only main character. There were also perspectives from Amari, a princess who is fleeing from her family, and the prince Inan who is both an adversary and a ally throughout the book. Inan was totally fascinating and I loved seeing him at his most odious. Amari too was really interesting as she learned to overcome her assumptions throughout the book.
However, having so many perspectives I think subtracted a bit from the book for me. We were constantly changing between people and I was getting confused being in all their heads all the time. It helped that I listened to the audio so I had different voices and accents but it still got very confusing. I wish it had kept things a little more contained.
But on the whole I think this was a really fascinating read. The world was unique and interesting, the plot was thrilling and full of action, and the characters were complex and engaging. This book is definitely worth the hype.
I give Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi 9.5 out of 10 stars
Have you read Children of Blood and Bone? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!