Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha, book one)
by Tomi Adeyemi
read in November 2018
This is a spoiler-free review!
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.
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.
I gave Children of Blood and Bone so many chances. I first started reading it back in April or May, but after reading the first one hundred pages, I forgot about it and picked up other books instead. I decided to DNF it for the time being and started the book all over again on October 1st, this time on audiobook. It took me over a month to read it, which is very much unlike me!
Though there are many unique elements, I was rather bored while reading this. I just didn’t care… When I first started Children of Blood and Bone, I thought Zélie was about thirteen years old, until her age was explicitly mentioned. She does grow throughout the book, but I nonetheless thought the characters seemed younger than they actually were. The romance, however, was much more mature. Nothing’s explicit though, but there are several make-out sessions.
Talking about the romance: yikes. It’s no secret I don’t tend to enjoy M/F romances and Zélie and Inan’s relationship is no different. For a enemies-to-lovers romance, it was very insta-love! Also, I couldn’t care less about Inan. If I could’ve skipped his chapters, I would’ve.
Some elements seemed written for a younger Young Adult audience, others (such as the romance and many character deaths), not. Unfortunately, those deaths didn’t move me. They were a bit predictable and didn’t affect the plot much. That said, the author’s note did explain why the author killed those characters, and that was interesting.
However, I certainly didn’t hate this novel. I actually really love Amari, her chapters were my favourites! And as I’ve mentioned before, Zélie grew on me. I was especially fond of reading about her magic, I love that she has a connection with the dead.
The final hour of my audiobook was very action-packed, I loved it! It was entertaining and finally, some plot-changing stuff happened! I considered DNF’ing this book many times and I wasn’t sure whether I would continue the series, but the ending is redeeming. I’m keen to find out what’s next for Amari!
content and trigger warnings for mentions of sexual assault/rape threats, slavery, racism, murder, torture, kidnapping, fire, self-harm (blood magic ritual), PTSD
While I definitely struggled reading Children of Blood and Bone, there are promising aspects that make me want to read the rest of the series after all.
Have you read this book yet? What are your thoughts?
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