I’m slowly making my way through the books I had predicted would be 5 star reads, and this is the latest book that was on that list that I’ve read! It was so close to being a 5 star read, but there were just a few things that happened that meant that I couldn’t quite give it a full 5 stars.
Children of Blood and Bone
by Tomi Adeyemi
Series: Legacy of Orisha #1
Release date: March 6th 2018
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
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.
This was so close to being a 5 star read for me, but it fell just shy of a full 5 stars. I loved seeing all the African influences and the way the themes of oppression and racism were handled. The parallels between this book and the social injustices that are present in today’s society just made you feel so many emotions! I’m so glad that I finally picked this up and read it, but I’m also glad that I waited until the hype died down a bit because I definitely think the hype for me was a little too much.
I really enjoyed the world building, but since I tend to be more of a ‘give-me-all-the-details’ kind of reader, I wanted even more of the world. For example, I wish we knew more about the lionaires and leoponaires that people have and ride, I wish we knew more about the history of the world and even how other countries interact with Orisha, since it’s mentioned a few times that there are definitely other countries but some of that I’m hoping will be shown more in book 2.
I also loved that there were multiple perspectives with Zelie, Amari and Inan, although there were some repetitive scenes across the perspectives. I liked how Zelie managed to keep going after everything that she’s been through, but I didn’t like how she also constantly blamed herself for everything that happened in her past and the way that her brother also pinned things on her which was pretty unfair. I especially liked Amari and her character growth from a scared, spoiled princess into a warrior, but there was something that was off with the transition from one to the other, I just can’t put my finger on exactly what it was. I also see why so many people dislike Inan, but I think he was a great character because he struggled with what he was raised to believe and what he is going through and seeing outside the palace.
One of the major things I didn’t quite like was the romance. It was too close to insta-love for me to appreciate it, although in the context of the two characters abilities, it made it a little bit more bearable, but I still found it hard to handle. There is also another “couple” that isn’t quite a couple, but definitely seems to be heading that direction that I like much more than the insta-love couple.
The magic system is also very interesting and seems to be well thought out, although it’s tough to tell as we don’t get to see much of some of the types of magical abilities , which makes sense seeing as magic has disappeared from this world. The chart in the beginning of the book showing the clans and their deity was very helpful while reading as a reference for the magic and who would’ve had what abilities!
This book was just over 500 pages, and it really flew by because the pacing was consistent throughout. We got plenty of action scenes and plenty of scenes learning more about the characters, I just wish that the ending hadn’t gone by so quickly. We spent over 500 pages to get to this major plot point that only too about 20-30 pages, and it wasn’t necessarily a cliff-hanger, but enough to make you want to read the second book to see what happens with the characters.
Overall, I’m excited to see where this series goes next, but I’m a little nervous because the second book looks much shorter than the first! This was a debut so I’m curious to see what Tomi Adeyemi does next, because this was a very good debut novel.