Review: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Alexis: Read 1/9/19

Children of Blood and Bone, despite being a thick book, is super fast-paced. The plot is always moving, which I appreciated as I read. Adeyemi does a good job of explaining how the magic system works, and I enjoyed learning about all the gods and the maji’s connections to them. Sometimes multiple perspectives can be hard to pull off, but I really enjoyed reading from all the different perspectives, and the shifts never pulled me out of the book.

As for the characters, I’ll be honest: I’m not a huge fan of Zélie. She sometimes felt like a Katniss Everdeen character. However, I connected more with her as the book went on. I enjoyed Inan’s character until about halfway through the book. As for Amari and Tzain, I always enjoyed reading from their points of view. At times, the plot was a bit predictable, but not enough that I didn’t continue to enjoy reading the story. There was a love-at-first-sight storyline, and though I normally hate this YA trope, I thought Adeyemi used it to her advantage.

About a quarter way through this book, I realized something: parts of this book mirror Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Zélie is very similar to Katara. When she is young, her mother is killed in a raid because she possessed magical powers. Zélie possesses these same powers and she grows up wanting revenge. She has an older, non-magical brother, Tzain, who just wants to protect her. Zélie meets an Aang-like character, Amari: a girl who was trained how to fight from an early age, but who needs to learn to get past her peaceful side.

Amari’s older brother, Inan, the prince, has a good heart but is misguided. He wants his father’s approval but he has to betray those he loves in order to achieve it, just like Zuko. The father is definitely a Fire Lord Ozai type of character.

There is a temple “made of air” which connects maji to their gods. This temple was mostly destroyed in a raid in which a genocide happened.   

Despite these similarities, Children of Blood and Bone is an original book. I I loved the diversity and the magic based on Nigerian mythology. I also admired Adeyemi’s creativity—the characters ride on giant, horned lions and leopards, called lionaires and snow leoponaires.

Overall, this book was wholly engrossing and I had a hard time putting it down. And for that reason I can’t rate it any less than 5 books. I’m excited for the sequel!

VERDICT: 5 books

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