Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Book Review

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Children of Blood and Bone
(Legacy of Orïsha #1)
By Tomi Adeyemi
Available 3/6/18
Publisher: Henry Holt Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9781250170972
Pages: 448
Genre: YA Fantasy



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.


Children of Blood and Bone was one of my most anticipated reads of 2018. It easily delivered all that was promised with a few additional and welcomed surprises!

Zélie Adebola is a young descendant of the maji clan; IKU. Her mother was a Divîner, once wielding the power of life and death. When a maji comes of age, it is said that those born with the white hair are Divîners. Touched by the gods, they hold specific powers. However, all of that was lost when the King targeted and killed all Divîners of age and stripped their world of magic, leaving Zélie and her brother Tzain motherless. The survivors are left to face harsh laws, ridiculous taxes and  labor camps when they are unable to pay their debts to the monarchy. Many will die slaves and the people of Eloirin face a terrible fate. But when a trip to the city of Lagose in efforts to sell a rare fish that could save her family sparks a chance encounter between Zélie and the King’s daughter Amari, she soon discovers she just might save something greater. She is given a chance to free her people and restore magic. But first she must learn to accept and wield her own powers while embracing new and unexpected allies.

Children of Blood and Bone serves up an exquisite dish of diversity on multiple fronts. Boasting a wide array of characters that hail from opposite ends of the social spectrum, the reader is supplied with varying perspectives that explore relevant topics such as institutional racism and the division of upper and lower class citizens. Zélie is fierce and defiant with a strong desire to rise against the injustice she witnesses daily. Often her willingness to stand leads to irrational behavior and sporadic decisions. Amari has been sheltered, living behind the palace walls of a father who has spoon fed her lies intended to spark fear and hatred. But her heart tells her there must be something more, something better. When the two girls collide and discover they must work together if they hope to ever succeed in returning magic to the land, the monarchy is not the only obstacle they face. They must accept what they have been raised to fear and hate, each other. What unfolds is a beautifully complex relationship that is both challenging and rewarding.

The magic system is equally complex and distinct. The magi consist of 10 different clans, each stemming from their own deity and therefore possessing various powers.  Marked by their white hair, the Divîner’s blood contains ashê, enabling them to call their sacred gifts forth. These powers range from controlling life, death, mind, spirit and dream to a range of elements and even time.

The setting is ever evolving as Zélie, Tzain and Amari traverse the land (Orïsha) on their journey. We are exposed to various landscapes, some physical and some otherworldly. The possibilities feel unlimited and easily submerge the reader into an intoxicating atmosphere shrouded in the unknown while slowly divulging more of the maji history and culture along the way.

Tomi Adeyemi’s writing practically reads itself. There is an instant connection established that refuses to let go. While the plot is laden with elements of magic and fantasy, the characters feel incredibly viable and specific moments tangible. This is an incredibly large story that is carried effortlessly with brilliantly timed, alternating narratives and even pacing.

Perhaps the real magic hidden within is the unexpectedly powerful message portrayed with stunning grace and clarity. Children of Blood and Bone transcends traditional ya fantasy, delivering an emotionally charged adventure that I am tempted to call perfection. Must read!

Fun Fact: Children of Blood and Bone is soon to be a major feature film with Fox 2000 Pictures.

*I would like to thank the publisher for this advanced copy. The above review is my own, unbiased opinion.

Untitled designDevoured over multiple cups of roobios tea with almond and vanilla.

Purchase Links: Book Depository

Happy Reading,

Danielle ❤

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41 thoughts on “Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

  1. This looks SO GOOD OMG!!! Amazing review, and I didn’t know that it’s being made into a movie!! Ahh it sounds like it’d make a great movie!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right?! I cracked it open wondering how confident they must be to purchase movies rights before final book sales, but within chapters I had my answer as to why. I don’t always fair well with heavily anticipated titles, but this one easily delivers. I hope you are able to read it soon 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love all the hype this book is getting and that it’s living up to it. It’s exciting when a book gets the kind of attention people usually only give movies (although I know it will be a movie soon). Still, it’s great to see books getting their time in the limelight and on giant billboards! I can’t wait to read it. Thank you for the great review!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This book sounds incredibly wholesome! Sounds like no opportunity to reach the true potential of the story was left unused and it’s great to see that a YA title takes it to a whole new level of greatness! 🙂 Fantastic review and how cool that there will be a movie… Will defo be watching the movie.. and read the book… not sure which I will manage to do first though! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It certainly raises the bar! I almost feel like this one is limited by calling it YA (which it is so I am not saying it miss marketed) because it can and will totally please a large adult audience for sure! Perfect balance of complexity and diversity. Thr magic system is amazing. Loved it!


  4. So happy you liked this one too. I agree, it’s more than worth the hype 🙂 I’m in the middle of writing my review after finishing a couple days ago and it’s so hard not to just leave a pre-order link in all-caps and call it a day! It’s great to see such a breadth of representation. I really hope this reaches a large audience that kids and adults talking about some of its themes the way Harry Potter did.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha I agree! I am also hoping this one will fall into the hands of many. It certainly has something to offer for everyone (young and older) and boasts such a powerful message and unique delivery. I was not only impressed with how rich and diverse it was, but how original the magic system was. I loved this!


  5. So happy you loved this! I am going to wait until the library has the ebook because I requested this on Netgalley and it just sat in limbo, and then I saw brand new bloggers had requested it and gotten it, so sour grapes on my part. Ha ha. I’ll probably end up getting the hardcover anyway because the cover is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing your review. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m really eager to read this one. I sorta gave up on YA fantasy because it’s so saturated with romance, but I’m so curious about Adeyemi’s book that I HAVE to try it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This one should do the trick 😉 There are small hints of a love interest or two throughout, but certainly not the focus of the story. This one is so dynamic, not only in terms of characteristics but magic system and settings. I was not prepared for how much I loved it!


  7. Yay that this delivered all that you expected- this is one of my most anticipated reads as well 😀 The world building and characters sound incredible! And I love what you said about the writing practically reading itself- it makes me even more eager to read it! It sounds like it’s brilliantly executed 😀 Wonderful review!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is so well executed.. dare I say “flawless” in terms of my own preferences. There was no overwhelming, cliche love story or any of the usual tropes. The magic/religious aspects were beautifully developed and the characters rich. I hope you are a fan. I would love to see your thoughts 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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