“I won’t let your ignorance silence my pain”
WOW. I don’t normally find myself at a loss for words after a book, but Children of Blood and Bone has left me speechless. This is a book that will take you on a wild ride and shake you down to your core, making sure you feel every emotion possible. I laughed, I raged, I grieved, and I loved every moment of it.
“Reality told us we would fail. But again and again, we fought. We persevered. We rose.”
Featuring an entirely non-white cast (YASSS!!!) Children of Blood and Bone follows Zélie as she fights to bring magic back to her people after it was taken by the king who killed her mother. Told from three different perspectives, CBB follows Zélie, Amari, and Inan.
Zélie has been oppressed and beaten down by the royal regime her entire life because she is a diviner—a person with the potential to become a Maji, someone with the gift of magic—and she is an angry and fierce warrior who has experienced so much grief and trauma. She has been chosen by the gods to bring magic back to Orïsha. Amari is a princess whose best friend was a diviner. She turns her back on everything her father has taught her about the Maji in order to aid Zélie in her quest to bring magic back to Orïsha. Our third POV is actually the antagonist, Inan, Amari’s older brother and the crown prince of Orïsha, who is determined to prevent magic from coming back.
“It doesn’t matter how strong I get, how much power my magic wields. They will always hate me in this world.”
I don’t know how Tomi Adeyemi did it, but CBB is an incredible story. Fast-paced. Heart-wrenching. Beautiful. Children of Blood and Bone is the best YA debut fantasy on the market. Adeymi did an amazing job of not only writing an amazing and harrowing story, but also one that is relevant and speaks to larger issues in our society. I was angry with the world Zélie lived in and all of the hate, trauma, and oppression she endured—a world that holds up a mirror to our own. It is worth reading Adeyemi’s author’s note at the end of the book where she discusses her inspirations for CBB.
“As long as we don’t have magic, they will never treat us with respect. They need to know we can hit them back. If they burn our homes, we burn theirs, too.”
I adored Zélie’s character and her transformation of learning how to channel her anger and grief and conquer her fears in order to become the leader her people need. Tzain, her brother, is perfect and his love, strength, and loyalty broke my heart over and over again. Amari experienced such beautiful growth throughout the book, transforming from a timid girl and to a brave one, unafraid to stand up to a world of hatred. The one character I wasn’t crazy about was Inan. There were times when I sympathized with him and really enjoyed having him as a POV, but I felt as though a lot of his thoughts and actions didn’t make sense and were tailored more so to fit the plot than his character.
“The gods don’t make mistakes.”
Children of Blood and Bone is a chilling, powerful, emotional, and stunning story that everyone needs to read. There is a reason why this is the book that is taking over the world. Read it, savor it, love it, and shout about this book until everyone you know has read it. Thank you Tomi Adeyemi for giving this story to the world and for revolutionizing YA fantasy.
“Courage does not always roar. Valor does not always shine.”