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  • Writer's pictureAmelia Hooke

Review of 'Children of Blood and Bone'

Children of Blood and Bone

By Tomi Adeyemi, 2018, Henry Holt and Company

Fantasy, Young adult

Rating: 👻👻👻1/2 (3.5 out of 4 boos)

“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.”

What’s the main character like?

Zélie is the true main character of this book, although she shares the narration with two other characters. She jumps off the page immediately. She’s fierce, a strong fighter with her staff. She’s righteous, a defender of her family and sometimes strangers. Yet she’s vulnerable, victimized by past wounds and susceptible to her volcanic emotions.

How scary is it?

Because Children of Blood and Bone fits into the fantasy genre, “scary” is not the first word I would use here. Disturbing? Yes. Tense? Yes. Emotionally heavy? Yes. Sometimes violent? Yes. This world showcases a dangerous, drawn-out battle between those who want magic and those who don’t, so it will get to you, but it won’t scare you the way a horror book would.

Who might like this book?

If you enjoy fantasy books that feature a world very different from ours but are as much about the characters as they are about the fantastical setting, Children of Blood and Bone may appeal to you. If you like dark themes, this book may appeal to you. If you like books that have an epic feel (and have sequels!) but still allow you to read through them quickly, this book may appeal to you. I’m not a big reader of fantasy, but I loved this book, so if you’re more of a horror/thriller fan like I am but looking to read in other genres, this book may be for you. Also, a school librarian recommended this book to me, so if you've come to trust your school librarians as I have, give this one a try!

What did I like best?

Two characters dance around a forbidden romance. That is always exciting!

What wasn't my favorite?

Sometimes I struggled with picturing what was being described. Maybe this is my own fault because I don’t typically read fantasy, so I need more practice reading explanations of things that don’t exist in our world. Or maybe it’s because Adeyemi’s plot is so interesting. A lot of the time, I would race through descriptions of magical occurrences because I was more interested in how the characters were going to deal with the conflict at hand.

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