Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
TOTAL RATING: 4.6 STARS
They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.
Now we rise.
Tomi Adeyemi’s debut novel packs a powerful punch of moden isssues wrapped in a beautifully crafted fantasy world, inspired by African mythology and culture, full of eye opening and thought provoking plot points. It weaves not only an engaging narrative, but builds fantastic characters.
Zelie is a daughter of a Maji. Powerful magic wielders who have been victimised and oppressed, there lives reduced to the bottom of the social standings and abused by the local guards, which has a terrifyingly too real look at modern day issues. All of these only make the book that much better. It’s a thought provoking exploration disguised as a fantasy, where it’s all too real.
Zelie discovers Amari by accident on a visit to the capital city. Amari being the princess of the kingdom of Orisha is part of system holding Zelie and her family like her brother Tzain, another of the major characters (and one who in my mind one of the best) down in the poor and deprived village, but when it’s discovered that Amari holds a scroll which is one of the keys to bring about the return of magic and the possible freedom of all the maji populace of Orisha.
The final perspective is of Inan, the prince and brother of Amari. He’s been charged with finding Amari and recovering the scroll by his tyrant father. His is a more fluctuating narrative, constantly battling a sudden unlocking of his own (and illegal) magic power and his need to obey his father.
As the story moves forward, Zelie, Amari and Tzain go on a journey across Orisha on a race against time to make the sacred temple to perform the ritual, while being pursued by Inan and other’s who would wish to see there threat of rebellion crushed and extinguished.
Children of Blood and Bone is full of amazingly fleshed out characters, action packed scenes (The battle arena scene was one of my favourite!) and some tense moments drama with an underling message that we all need to appreciate. There’s a seriously poignant and relevant story here. Full of modern subtext that lurks beneath the beautiful story, one that we need to realise is not simply a fantasy.
It’s a reality.
A book that entertained me. Enlightened me and probably most importantly made me stop and think. It’s as powerful as Zelie’s call to arms.
I’m ready to join the rebellion… what about you?
Final thought: We are all children of blood an bone. The sooner we respect those who are oppressed by the system and fight for change, the better. Bring on book 2.