Summary and book reviews of Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone

Legacy of Orisha

by Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi X
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Mar 2018, 544 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2019, 560 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Michelle Anya Anjirbag
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About this Book

Book Summary

Winner of the 2018 BookBrowse Award for Best Young Adult Novel

Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir.

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.

CHAPTER ONE
ZÉLIE

PICK ME.

It's all I can do not to scream. I dig my nails into the marula oak of my staff and squeeze to keep from fidgeting. Beads of sweat drip down my back, but I can't tell if it's from dawn's early heat or from my heart slamming against my chest. Moon after moon I've been passed over.

Today can't be the same.

I tuck a lock of snow-white hair behind my ear and do my best to sit still. As always, Mama Agba makes the selection grueling, staring at each girl just long enough to make us squirm.

Her brows knit in concentration, deepening the creases in her shaved head. With her dark brown skin and muted kaftan, Mama Agba looks like any other elder in the village. You would never guess a woman her age could be so lethal.

"Ahem." Yemi clears her throat at the front of the ahéré, a not-so-subtle reminder that she's already passed this test. She smirks at us as she twirls her hand-carved staff, eager to see which one of us she ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
1. Describe Zélie's background and personality. What are her strengths and weaknesses? How does she change over the course of the book, and what causes the changes? Discuss why she characterizes her past as a "lifetime of mistakes" (p.375). Do you agree with her assessment of herself?

2. Talk about Tzain, specifically his personality and his relationship to Zélie, using evidence from the text. How does he contribute to their quest? What does Amari like about him? Discuss Tzain's statement, "I'm tired of paying for everyone's mistakes" (p. 395).

3. Compare what Amari is like at the beginning of the novel and what she is like at the end. What brings about the changes in her character? Discuss her relationships with her father,...
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  • award image

    BookBrowse Awards
    2018

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

This is the first in a series that is going to challenge everything that readers know about what makes good YA fantasy. It's going to leave them demanding more, not only from the series, but from what the standard of "good enough" in publishing already is. Growth, confrontation, trauma, and the search for a better way by two strong women are all part of this epic fantasy. If I have any criticisms, it is that it ends on a cliff-hanger and 2019 is far too far away to wait for the next installment of what is sure to be the bestselling Legacy of Orïsha series.   (Reviewed by Michelle Anya Anjirbag).

Full Review Members Only (623 words).

Media Reviews

Entertainment Weekly
Twenty-four-year-old Tomi Adeyemi's YA debut is looking like a phenomenon.

Ebony
The next big thing in literature and film.

Teen Vogue
One of the biggest young adult fiction debut book deals of the year. Aside from a compelling plot and a strong-willed heroine as the protagonist, the book deals with larger themes, like race and power, that are being discussed in real time.

Campus Lately
A remarkable achievement.

Jet
Tomi Adeyemi is about to take both the literature and film world by storm.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Adeyemi's devastating debut is a brutal, beautiful tale of revolution, faith, and star-crossed love.

Booklist
Starred Review... Adeyemi keeps it fresh with an all-black cast of characters, a meaningful emphasis on fighting for justice, a complex heroine saving her own people, and a brand of magic made more powerful by the strength of heritage and ancestry. Perfect for fans of the expansive fantasy worlds of Leigh Bardugo, Daniel José Older, and Sabaa Tahir.

Kirkus Reviews
Powerful, captivating, and raw—Adeyemi is a talent to watch. Exceptional.

School Library Journal
A refreshing YA fantasy with an all–West African cast of characters that should be on every shelf.

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book

The Importance of Diverse Fantasy Spaces

"Children have a right to books that reflect their own images and books that open less familiar worlds to them…for those children who had historically been ignored – or worse, ridiculed – in children's books, seeing themselves portrayed visually and textually as realistically human was essential to letting them know that they are valued in the social context in which they are growing up…At the same time, the children whose images were reflected in most American children's literature were being deprived of books as windows into the realities of the multicultural world in which they are living, and were in danger of developing a false sense of their own importance in the world."

- Rudine Sims Bishop, from,...

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