Book Review – Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone

Author: Tomi Adeyemi
Published: March 2018 by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers
Genre: Fantasy / Young Adult

Curious to know what this book is about and what I think of it?

Children of Blood and Bone

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

“They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.
Now we rise.”

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.



Tomi Adeyemi

Tomi Adeyemi is a Nigerian-American writer and creative writing coach based in San Diego, California. After graduating Harvard University with an honors degree in English literature, she received a fellowship that allowed her to study West African mythology and culture in Salvador, Brazil. Her debut novel, Children of Blood and Bone, came out in March 2018 and the movie is currently in development at Fox with the producers of Twilight and The Maze Runner attached.

You can find Tomi on Twitter.

Magical and Powerful

After reading about it everywhere, I had to get my own copy of Children of Blood and Bone. I didn’t exactly know what to expect of this hyped book, but I must admit.. I am blown away by it.

Children of Blood and Bone is set in the fictional world of Orïsha, inspired by West Africa. The story begins with Zélie, a young girl who lives in Ilorin with her father and brother Tzain. Zélie is a diviner, which means she is a maji whose magical powers have not yet developed. But her magic will not evolve, because 11 years prior King Saran took magic away. This period is known in Orïsha as the Raid and in that time maji people were murdered by the King’s army because of their magical powers. Zélie’s mother was one of the majis who died during the Raid and this is a suffering Zélie, Tzain and their father must live with every day.

King Saran still rules Orïsha. He is a cruel man and he looks down on all diviner children, calling them ‘maggots’. The King has two children of his own, Prince Inan and Princess Amari. Somehow the paths of Zélie, Tzain, Amari and Inan cross and a mission to bring magic back is set in motion.

The world of Orïsha is beautiful and well put together. There are poor villages, a palace, temples, deserts, forests.. Every setting has a different feel to it. The culture and history of Orïsha were very well-thought-out too. This helped with bringing the story and the setting to life.

Another thing that I really liked is that the book switches point of view between three characters; Zélie, Amari and Inan. Because of this I could relate to all three of them. My favorite character is Zélie. She is fierce, smart and she fights for her people and for what she beliefs. She also has her flaws, she sometimes feels insecure about herself and I would say she is a bit naïve at times, but this makes her a realistic character. She isn’t just another heroine. She is a girl on a mission and she is trying and struggling to control her powers and her feelings.

The character-development of Amari is phenomenal.. She starts of as a ‘scared little princess’, but I would call her Queen in the final chapter.

The magic system of Children of Blood and Bone was a bit hard to get my head around at first, but once I really got into the story it all started to make sense. The maji all belong to their own clan and they have specific powers. For example, there are Burners who generate and manipulate fire and Seers who can see into the past, present and future.

The sad truth behind this story is that although it’s a fantasy novel, the pain, fear and loss in this book is real. It is a story about discrimination, racism and oppression. Tomi writes about rising up against oppressors and it’s an important and powerful message.

I loved reading this book and the end left me wanting for more. I can’t wait for the sequel of Children of Blood and Bone!

5 out of 5 stars.


Have you read Children of Blood and Bone?

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  1. Loved your review!
    I’m currently listening to the audiobook version of Children of Blood and Bone. I’m not even halfway through the book and already like it so much!

  2. “They killed my mother.
    They took our magic.
    They tried to bury us.
    Now we rise.”

    This quote just made my day.

  3. Great review!! I’ve been trying to read this book forever now. For some reason, every time I pick it up to read it I change my mind and read something else. I need to force myself to sit down and read it finally! Lol

  4. You took lovely pictures of this book. I have it on my TBR and bought my copy in March – I need to get to reading!

  5. This is definitely one of the most hyped books of this year. I don’t read many fantasy novels but feel I should read this one after all the good things I’ve heard about it.

  6. Amazing review, I really need to check this book out soon because I keep on hearing many great raving reviews about it! Thank you so much for sharing your awesome post.

    1. Aww thank you so much! 😊
      This book was amazing and I adored every piece of it.. The world building, the characters, the magic..