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Children of Blood and Bone

Children of Blood and Bone

Book - 2018
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Zelie Adebola remembers when the soil of Or sha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie s Reaper mother summoned forth souls. But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zelie without a mother and her people without hope.
Publisher: New York : Henry Holt & Company, 2018
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781250170972
Call Number: TEEN F ADEY
Characteristics: 531 p. ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: Children of blood & bone


From Library Staff

Dorcas' July recommendation for teens: Will magic save the world or destroy all you love?

Well-drawn characters, an intense plot, and deft writing make this a strong story. That it is also a timely study on race, colorism, power, and injustice makes it great.

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

An epic, Afro-centric fantasy where the persecuted risk their lives to restore magic to the world.

This book is getting so much buzz, the holds are building.

From the critics

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CMLibrary_Veronica Mar 23, 2021

Holy. Crap. I LOVED this book. There is always talk about how Harry Potter isn't all that great of fantasy, especially in the YA genre. This book is everything you need.

Tomi Adeyemi is magical in the literal and the fictional sense. The world she creates in these pages is one that you simply cannot escape and the fact that it ends is so sad. I originally read this book as a library book and I kid you not, the moment I closed the cover, I ordered this one and the sequel on Amazon because I HAD to own them. I can't wait for the third one and the films. I think it will be one of the best things to come out of cinema, without a doubt.

The intricacy of the characters, the world, the backstory, and the way each character grips you is something I cannot even describe. It's something you most definitely have to experience yourself. One of my favorite things that Tomi does really well is to make her characters feel really human and relatable. She knows that no one is completely good or completely evil. We often do things that we think are right at the time, but in hindsight, they might not have been the best decisions. Each of the characters struggles with that and it makes the book so much more enjoyable. You find yourself rooting for them at some points and at others, you're so frustrated because you know they shouldn't be doing what they are. The attachment that I have to each of these characters is insane, I love them so much.

For me, this book definitely set the bar for fantasy and what I expect it to be. Without a doubt, one of my favorite books of 2020.

Mar 09, 2021

Book #1 (of 3) in 'Legacy of Orisha' series.

Nov 30, 2020

Fast paced and, at times, violent (compare with Hunger Games), this fantasy by Tomi Adeyemi draws on the Yoruba tradition of West Africa to construct a new vision for high fantasy. I encourage readers unfamiliar with West African culture (as I was) to look up the occasional term you don't recognize to get more out of the read. I look forward to more fantasy novels that decenter Europe and draw from the imaginative riches of diverse traditions.

Nov 22, 2020

- The world building was rich & refreshing. Cannot emphasise this enough.
- The character development!! I appreciate how the main cast & their interactions changed between the opening and the end.
- Memorable side characters.
- The writing itself had a flow that I really liked.
- The action scenes were super well written.
- Very insightful commentary on issues prevalent in the real world - racism, colourism, classism.

- Cliffhanger ending :(

Oct 30, 2020

What a wonderful and glorious book. Oh my word the worldbuilding was amazing and I was so in love with every character. I would definitely recommend for anyone who wants to read about a badass main character in a deeply rich fantasy world!

Jul 22, 2020

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi is a fantasy novel detailing a rich and well built world with an interesting cast of characters. Zélie once lived in a world that was run by the magic of Burners, Riders, Reapers and many others. But then there was the raid and magic disappeared. Under the King’s orders thousands of Maji (those who possess magic) were slaughtered including Zélie’s own mother. Years later, Zélie still suffers from the trauma from the raid, and when she has the chance to bring magic back forever she can’t say no. She sets off on a complicated and action-packed journey with her brother and a rogue princess. Nat far behind, the crown Prince stalks them, driven by his own fiero magic, his conflicting feelings for Zélie,and the hate that his father has ground into him.
Sabaa Tahir fans would enjoy Children of Blood and Bone because her novels have similar writing styles and the same quest/journey narrative. Furthermore, if you enjoy world driven narratives then you will for sure enjoy Children of Blood and Bone because one of the best parts of the book was exploring the complex and wonderful world that Adeyemi has built. I will say that some of the characters and their choices were frustrating especially towards the end but overall this book was a fantastic read. I would definitely recommend this to basically anyone but especially if you enjoy YA fantasy books and are looking for more diverse recommendations.

Reread May 2, 2020: this was just as glorious and lovely and kickass and heartbreaking as I remember. I'm SO glad I reread it before jumping into the sequel.

Tomi Adeyemi has crafted a magical world full of mythical creatures and unexpected twists, with characters that you love in the most unanticipated ways. I loved Zelie and her brash impulsiveness; I loved Amari and her cautious nature that's thrown to the wind when she becomes the Lionaire. I loved Tzain and his protectiveness of his sister; I even loved Inan and his moods that change with the tide. Not every character is strong, but holy, are these strong characters. Every single one of them, and every single side character, has motivations and colours to their soul that I feel we only scratched the surface of in this novel.

The world of Orïsha is so lush and rich and beautiful, yet heartbreaking and tragic and all too real, and another massive strength of this novel is how utterly relevant it is in the world today. You can feel the pain in the words, the way that injustice and racism and tragedy is melded with fantasy in order to bring these characters and their world to life, and it hit home with me so hard. The fact that there are children who are murdered every day in our world, just as they are in Orïsha, that there are people fighting to maintain the injustice and brutality, is a reality that I struggle to want to live in. Weaving these themes into the world just made it even more starkly, terrifyingly real.

Overall, this is an adventure novel, full of fantastical elements and characters who I absolutely adore and rooted for so hard that it makes me ache to think about now. It's action-packed, it's emotional, it's relevant in ways that other novels just aren't. Read it. You won't regret it.

Apr 24, 2020

I picked up this title totally unaware of the premise. Immediately I was drawn into the world of Orisha. The ruling class have instituted laws, heavy penalties, and practically enslaved the Maji class. At one time they were the class capable of wielding powerful forms of magic, but it only took a single night for their magic to disappear. Now the Maji suffer oppression at the hands of a cruel king. Zelie, the main character wants to find out what happened to the her peoples magic and find a way to restore it.
This is an excellent read. Even for people that aren't huge fantasy fans will enjoy it. For those that are it is a long needed breath of fresh air in a genre that all too often lacks diversity. I hope Adeyemi inspires more authors of color to add their take on the genre.

Apr 03, 2020

This was really great for the first half of the book. The second half was not exactly what I was hoping for. Amari’s character growth and arc was amazing, but I felt like Zélie’s got derailed at the halfway point. And the less said about Inan the better. Definitely gonna read the second book because I need to know what happens and I absolutely love Amari, but I’m hoping the problems I had with this one get fixed in Children of Virtue and Vengeance.

Apr 03, 2020

Finally finished and OMG this book is amazing! I havent lost myself in a book in so long honestly since I read Harry Potter. But this is on a whole new level this book is something I can relate to/see myself in. The charcter development was phenomenal. And it kept me on my toes with suspense.

Honestly I really hope they make this into a movie!

Ms. Adeyemi you rock girl thanks for creating this master piece!

Author: Tomi Adeyemi
A book similar to this one is Poem X.

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Add Age Suitability
CMLibrary_Veronica Mar 23, 2021

CMLibrary_Veronica thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Dec 13, 2019

pink_deer_180 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Sep 09, 2019

AliceInWonderbread thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

DPLchandra Apr 20, 2019

DPLchandra thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Oct 07, 2018

C_02 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Jul 29, 2018

8576601_ thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 18

OPL_KrisC Jul 06, 2018

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

sarahbru17 May 11, 2018

sarahbru17 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


Add Notices
Apr 24, 2020

Sexual Content: Heavy "petting" between two characters. Age suitability depends on comfort level. Comparable to TV 14 is my guess

Oct 08, 2018

Sexual Content: Inan and Zel hug and then Inan touches Zel all over her body. There are also no more than 4 references to seduction. And the way the maji were treated by others is a bit scary. They are sometimes sent to brothels among other things.

Oct 07, 2018

Violence: Lots of people are seen dying. Even innocents. It was a bit unnerving.


Add a Quote

I rest my forehead against hers, and we sit in a comfortable silence, translating our love through touch. The Princess and the Warrior, I decide in my head. When they tell the story of tomorrow, that is what they shall call it.

ArapahoeMaryA Aug 24, 2018

As it fades, I see the truth - in plain sight, yet hidden all along. We are all children of blood and bone. All instruments of vengeance and virtue. This truth holds me close, rocking me like a child in a mother's arms. It binds me in its love as death swallows me in its grasp.

Jun 13, 2018

Deep down, I know the truth. I knew it the moment I saw the maji of Ibadan in chains. The gods died with our magic. They are never coming back.


Add a Summary
Jun 13, 2018

Once, Orïsha was the land of maji, ten powerful clans, each with their own unique powers to command earth or water, life or death. But eleven years ago, King Saran conducted the Raid, cutting the maji off from their gods, and killing every practitioner old enough to have come into their powers. Only the divîners remain. Children at the time of the Raid, they will live their entire lives under the heel of the Royal Guard, derided as maggots, never coming into their inheritance. It seems that the gods have abandoned Orïsha. But tension is brewing in the royal family. Princess Amari’s best friend is a divîner named Binta, who serves as her chamber maid, and Prince Inan is hiding a dark secret of his own. Having lost her mother in the Raid, a young divîner named Zélie harbours a deep resentment for the royal family, and a longing for the Reaper powers she should have inherited on her thirteenth birthday. Instead, she trains to fight with a staff, and dreams of a day when the divîners will rise up against their oppressors. But the gods have plans to throw some unusual allies in her path.

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