Children of Blood and Bone
By Tomi Adeyemi
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
Bang Bang Review
Zelie (Zel) lives in Orisha where the non magical king has made it his mission to eradicate the Maji or magical people and he does so by murder. Zel’s mother was one of the fallen and Zel was born a diviner-magical child of fallen maji. Amari, the king’s daughter, is indifferent until an event forces her to take action against the king. She meets Zel and her brother Tzain, and they set off on a journey to restore magic back to the maji before it is gone forever.
Blood and Bone is a doorstopper; it’s 600 pages and almost every word is action packed or important to the plot-no fluff here. It’s told from first person of three different POVs, Zel, Amari, and Inan, the crowned prince. There’s so much to unpack, I don’t know where to start.
I guess I’ll begin with Zel. She’s a total Gryffindor. She’s very brave but she acts before she thinks and this often gets everyone in a jam. The story begins with Zel training with a staff so she can defend herself and others and she holds her own through out the story. We meet Amari at the castle with her domineering mother. Amari begins as a girl who has given up fighting and goes with the flow until something happens and she overhears her father and his commanders discussing an ancient artifact that could restore magic. She decides at the moment to stop her father’s maji cleansing by stealing the artifact and making a run for it. She runs into Zel and being the Gryffindor that she is, Zel helps the royal much to the chagrin of Tzain. The trio are told that they are destined to take this journey to restore magic and off they go.
Meanwhile Inan, the captain of the Orisha army, is commanded by the king to find his sister and retrieve the artifact. Inan understandably worships his father and wants to be a good king so he agrees but he soon realizes that he’s different. I won’t say because it’s more fun for you to read it. Inan is now conflicted and makes some honorable and spineless decisions.
There’s a lot going on in this book. Adeyemi tackles racism, genocide, and abuse of power. The king has some justifiable concerns about magic and the maji as does Zel and Adeyemi forces you to choose but it’s difficult because both sides have compelling arguments. This was refreshing because in most fantasy books, it’s good versus evil and as the reader you stand with good but in Blood and Bone it’s not that easy.
Overall, all the characters were very well developed and quite complex. This is a journey book but there were never moments of useless information or action for shock value-everything drove the plot. Adeyemi did a lot of research as this story is steeped in African folklore. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I hope there is a book 2 because that ending was not quite an ending.