Reading, Reviews

Review: “Children of Blood and Bone”

Cover designed by Rich Deas

Rating: 5/5

First of all, read it.

Secondly, the book was phenomenal.

The Gist

Jump into Tomi Adeyemi’s vivid, African-inspired world called Orïsha. In this fantasy, there once reigned Orïshans with magic and wonder, blessed by the gods. But when a king’s bloodthirsty genocide killed countless maji, magic disappeared from the land, leaving divîners powerless and oppressed by the kosidán-ruled empire.

Zélie is a young divîner who, when faced with an opportunity to restore magic to Orïsha, must embark on a dangerous, perilous adventure. She must overcome obstacles posed by the prejudiced regime, those she chooses to trust, and her own magic.

Quality of Story: 5/5

Adeyemi kept a fast-paced, character-driven plot alive with plenty of action, drama, and bits of romance. There was never a moment where I was dragging myself through the novel. Here was a book that, no matter where I left off, I got sucked into the brilliant mind of Tomi Adeyemi and the fantasy she’d created.

Quality of Characters: 5/5

Zélie was a prime example of what a realistic, strong female lead looks like. She was determined, willful, clever, and compassionate. At the same time she had her flaws, such as her self-doubt, wavering faith, need for revenge, and recklessness.

The secondary characters who also played major roles, such as her brother, Tzain, and the kingdom’s princess, Amari, were beautifully developed as well. Both had solid personalities that aided to the story’s complexity and proved Adeyemi to be the incredible writer she is.

Quality of World: 5/5

Far too many times in fantasy, worlds get all the attention or not enough of it. Adeyemi’s tale allowed me to picture each character, scene, and action sequence with near-absolute clarity. Swelling oceans, bustling markets, colorful jungles, wild lionnaires . . . If only Orïsha was on TripAdvisor’s list of top vacation destinations.

For Those into Technicalities: Writing Style? Yes, all the way.

Told in first-person point of view, Children of Blood and Bone maintained an easy-to-understand, yet intricately woven, writing style. Adeyemi’s voice connected me to her characters and to her world in such a way that I desperately wanted to be a maji by the end of chapter 3.

Something I consistently critique authors on is their use of Show vs. Tell. Adeyemi executed this finely, as I never felt cheated out of experiencing what her characters did. If anything, her smart combination of characters’ internal thoughts and struggles with strong descriptions of actions made for a fantastic story.

Zélie by Emma Brenner, watercolor & ink
By Emma Brenner, charcoal

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