Book Review: Children of Blood and Bone
By: Tomi Adeyemi
Narrated By: Bahni Turpin
Published By: Macmillan Audio
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
Audio Length: 18 hours, 9 minutes
Source: Audiobook Kindly Provided by Publisher
Young Adult - Fantasy
Story & Writing:
I have been highly anticipating this novel since I heard about it last April. I ran off to preorder my copy after reading the synopsis. I've been craving something to fill the gap left my the end of the Harry Potter series. No matter how many awesome fantasy/paranormal novels I have read since Harry's journey ended, I just can't seem to find one that occupies my mind and heart in the same way. I was hoping that the magic in this one could satiate my thirst for a new magical adventure. The diversity of the characters and setting also made this one appealing. There is no way you can mistake the magic wielded in this book in a gorgeous and deadly African inspired country with the rolling UK countryside and hallowed halls of Hogwarts. However, this one certainly quenched my desire for a compelling magical tale with an unforgettable cast of characters.
The novel unfolds from three perspectives. First, readers become acquainted with Zélie, a headstrong young girl with the memory of magic running through her veins. Zélie is a complicated main character who struggles between who she is forced to be and who she was meant to be before her mother was murdered in an uprising that eradicated magic from her world. Zélie's mother wielded powerful reaper magic before she was killed and Zélie wishes that things were different so that she could use the same spells to protect her father and older brother.
The second perspective belongs to the Princess Amari. Her father is the one that ripped magic from the hands of the people and killed all the magi. He left their offspring behind, but they are harmless without magic to use as a weapon. The magis' children have faced persecution in the post-magic world as they are seen as second class citizens. Amari, however, has never viewed her servant and best friend as someone beneath her. The girls have daydreamed about life beyond the palace walls and running away from the harsh conditions of royal life, but everything changes when Amari learns exactly what her father is capable of and has to make a difficult decision that will send her along the path to rebellion.
Lastly, Prince Inan, Amari's older brother, has a chance to drive the narrative. He is a symbol of both the magical and the non-magical worlds. The conflict that rages within him between what is right and what is expected makes for some brilliant internal conflict.
The story is full of gorgeous and lush settings, memorable characters, and a compelling magic system. I was fascinated with the lore attached to the magic and how its history played out among the people. Sadly, society always seems to classify people and the green eyed monster of jealously appears more often than not in fiction and reality. While the story is fantasy, I think there are many components that mirror modern society reflected in these pages.
Children of Blood and Bone is a new favorite that I am already planning to reread. I was so excited listening to this one that I kept at it without savoring because I had to know how things would work out for Zelie, Amari, and Inan. This is a triumphant debut and one I'd highly recommend.
Bahni Turpin is a fabulous narrator. She brings Zélie, Amari, and Inan to life with the cadence of her voice. Even though she narrates the entire novel on her own, I began to be able to distinguish the narrators apart from one another based on the inflection in Turbin's voice. She kept the pacing on point with the action in the story and I was lost into Zélie's world from the first chapter on. Turbin put the right amount of emotion into her voice as she reads. I truly felt the sorrow, panic, and joy along with the characters.
One Last Gripe: Whew, that ending. I'm still having heart palpitations. Where is the next book?
My Favorite Thing About This Book: The magic and mythology
First Sentence: Since the publisher sent me the audiobook and my print copy doesn't arrive until tomorrow, I don't have the first sentence for you.
Favorite Character: Zélie
Least Favorite Character: The King
Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha 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 targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.
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 the enemy.