Children of Blood and Bone

Children of Blood and Bone

Title: Children of Blood and Bone

Author: Tomi Adeyemi

Series: Legacy of Orïsha, #1

Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books

Release Date: March 8th 2018


Four Stars

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 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.

– Blurb courtesy of

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“As long as we don’t have magic, they will never treat us with respect. They need to know we can hit them back. If they burn our homes, we burn theirs, too.”

It’s been years since Orïsha had magic but Zélie still remembers, just as she remembers the night it vanished; the night the kings soldiers slaughtered her mother alongside all the maji in the land. Now though Zélie has a chance to change that, to bring magic back to the land and give the few maji left alive their freedom once more. If she can trust the princess fighting by her side that is, and if she can stay ahead of the crown prince tracking them both down.

Children of Blood and Bone was one of the most hyped-up books of the year and while I loved the story, how the author wrote the characters and the challenges they faced, I don’t think this book quite lived up to the hype for me. It was a fast paced story from the very beginning; Adeyemi didn’t shy away from the horrors Zélie, her family and her people had faced, and there was plenty at stake, but Children of Blood and Bone wasn’t a story that stayed with me after I’d finished the book.

“You crushed us to build your monarchy on the backs of our blood and bone. Your mistake wasn’t keeping us alive. It was thinking we’d never fight back.”

When princess Amari flees the palace and her father she doesn’t know what she has in the scroll she stole from her father’s commander, but she soon discovers that, along with Zélie and her older brother Tzain, they’re the only ones who can bring magic back to Orïsha. The closer they get however, the closer Inan follows them, and as desperate as Zélie and Amari are to bringing magic back Inan is just as desperate to get rid of it for good.

The story was told through Zélie’s, Amari’s and Inan’s POVs. The jumps between each of the characters never felt too sudden, or created a break that pulled me out of the story. There’s was a lot to introduce and cover in this first book and I think it was all balanced really well; the world building and development never took away from the plot or the sense of urgency Zélie’s, Amari’s and Inan’s individual journeys had.

…The Characters

“It doesn’t matter how strong I get, how much power my magic wields. They will always hate me in this world.”

Zélie is an incredibly strong character, well-developed and so real. She’s been through a lot and lost so much, and there’s a lot of anger and resentment in her from having faced oppression at the hands of the kings soldiers. Without any powers though Zélie knows she can’t fight back, but it doesn’t stop her training or standing up for what she believes is right. Zélie doubts herself a fair bit, not sure she’s powerful or strong enough to do what the Gods have chosen her for, but she believes in what she’s doing and the more she sees of Orïsha the more that belief grows.

“You have your duty and your heart. To choose one means the other must suffer.”

Inan was a character I was not a massive fan of. On one hand I think his journey could have been really interesting – the son of the king he’s had it drilled into his head that magic is evil and Orïsha is better off without the maji, but when he touched the scroll the powers he had were awakened the same way Zélie’s were – however Inan seemed to switch sides so often, change his beliefs, that his convictions and revelations never felt real to me.

I can’t say I was a massive fan of the romance between Inan and Zélie either, if there needed to be a romantic relationship in this book I felt it could have been left to the one between Amari and Tzain. The connection between Inan and Amari, and I’m still not sure whether it was the scroll or Inan who created that connection, felt a little bit too much like  insta-love to me. Their eyes met once, and all of a sudden Inan can’t get her out of his mind.

“Those are Father’s words, Inan. His decisions. Not yours. We are our own people. We make our own choices.”

Amari was another amazingly developed character. She’s spent her whole life pampered in the palace but when her father kills someone she loves she can’t stand by any longer. She’s terrified at the beginning, she can’t understand what Zélie and Tzain have lived through or the lengths they’re willing to go to, but she knows she can’t forget what she saw her father do to one of his maji subjects. Of all the characters in this book Amari had the most growth and I can’t wait to see where she goes in the next book.

The relationships in this book were definitely a highlight for me. The friendship between Zélie and Amari had a rocky start when Zélie hated everything Amari represented, but it changed as each girl saw another side to the other. The sibling relationships between Tzain and Zélie and Inan and Amari also had some interesting parallels. When it comes down to it both brothers are trying their best to protect their younger sisters, there’s just a very big difference between what each is willing to risk.

…The Setting

“Our eyes light up as Mama Agba describes maji with the gift of healing and the ability to cause disease. We lean in when she speaks of maji who tamed the wild beasts of the land, of maji who wielded light and darkness in the palms of their hands.”

The world building in this book is beyond incredible. Zélie and Amari’s journey takes them all across Orïsha; they see unforgivable horrors committed against the remaining maji left alive which aren’t glossed over in favour of the plot, and learn more about the Gods and the power they once wielded which has been forgotten since the raid. The mythology in Children of Blood and Bone was brilliantly written, the Gods played a big part in Zélie’s character development and the story itself. We learnt more about Zélie’s sister deity than any others but they weren’t completely left out of the story either. I can’t speak much to the representation and how true it was but the world itself was incredibly detailed and richly described.

While my expectations for Children of Blood and Bone were a little too high for the book to actually meet them, I’m not sure if there’s any book that could’ve met them, I still thought this was a great story. I was hooked from the first page and the plot kept my attention until the last, with Zélie’s and Amari’s characterisation and the world building standing out as highlights for me.

What did you think of Children of Blood and Bone? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.


37 thoughts on “Children of Blood and Bone

  1. I was SO excited to read this book after all the hype, just finished it. I was really interested to hear that you weren’t sure it lived up to its reputation. Totally agree that the world building is the best part, but I also thought there were some interesting moral questions that did stay with me about power and responsibility.
    Hope you don’t mind but I popped a ping back from my review to yours as I wanted to share your perspective! If you fancy giving mine a read, you can get to it by clicking through my profile. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I loved the take on power that Adeyemi wrote in this book. There were a lot of interesting topics and questions raised and some of it was very powerfully written. I think a lot about this book will stay with me, not just the world building which I did love, but personally it was just hyped up a little too much and the book couldn’t live up to my mammoth expectations.
      That’s more than fine, and yes I’ll definitely check out your review as well. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah yes the hype is so intense for this one! Shame it didn’t stay with you, even though it was good. Pity Inan wasn’t as likeable as he could have been and that it felt too much like instalove. I do like the sound of the parallels in terms of the sibling relationships. I’m really glad this held your attention as well and that the world building was so good (that’s one of the things I’m especially excited for).
    Brilliant and fair review! 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really was, and I guess in the end the main thing was that it was still an enjoyable read overall. I’m happy with that.
      Was not a fan of Inan and his relationship with Zelie but other than that the characters and the relationships were really well written. The world building was probably the best thing about this book though. In my opinion at least. 😀
      Thanks so much. 🙂 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Them nasty expectations, right?! I think if I get the chance to read it I won’t be able to keep them at a minimum myself, but hopefully it’ll still deliver a wonderful story. Then again, it still sounds really awesome! Especially that world-building. 😀 Awesome review, Beth!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah it’s a shame, but it happens every so often doesn’t it? Overall I still really enjoyed the book it was just missing that spark for me. I’ll keep my fingers crossed you enjoy it too Lashaan, you never know it may be a story that lives up to the hype for you.
      World building was a major plus for it, it was incredible, and thanks so much. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. HEY, BETH!

    It has been a while but hey!

    I enjoyed reading your review of Children of Blood and Bone and to be honest, it had sparked a need in me to reread it again!

    I can’t deny that the hype was a bit too high for this one but I was probably one of those people who recommended it to everyone I met!

    However, I am still very hyped for the second book which is called Children of Virtue and Vengeance. Oh, I am so ready!

    Hope you are doing well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey! 😀
      Oh that’s great to hear, and yeah I know what you mean because even though this wasn’t that book for me there have been a few I’ve ended up recommending to anyone and everyone. Still I love that people get so passionate about their favourite books, even though this one didn’t quite live up to my expectations I love that it did for so many people you know?
      Yes I can’t wait for the second book either, I have a feeling this will be a series that gets better and better.
      Thanks, yeah I am and I hope you’re doing good too. 🙂 ❤


  5. Lovely review Beth! even though it wasn’t quite the hit you expected, I’m glad you enjoyed the friendships/relationships Adayemi gave us in this book. I also could’ve done with just the romance between Amari and Tzain since Zelie’s & Inan just wasn’t right for me. Amari is hands down my fave character simply because her characters growth is the most enjoyable. I’m wondering…will you give the sequel a shot? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much Lilly. 🙂 Yeah overall I did really enjoy the book, I think it wasn’t quite as good as I was hoping it would be you know? The friendship was amazing, and yeah for me that aspect kind of made up for the romance between Inan and Zelie which I didn’t like at all. Oh yes, what was revealed about her character at the end was kind of a game changer because I did not see that coming.
      I will be checking out the sequel for sure, I have a feeling this will be a series that gets better with every release! ) ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautiful review, Beth! I’m sorry that the hype was a bit too high for this book to meet your expectations, it’s always annoying when that happens, but I guess i was bound to, with the incredible hype surrounding that book! Still, I’m really glad you ended up enjoying it and that the worldbuilding and relationships between the characters were amazing, yay for the siblings relationship! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Marie. 🙂 Yeah in the end I just think this one was a little too hyped up for me. A shame, and definitely annoying, but this was still a good read which I really did enjoy overall. The world building was probably my favourite aspect, and you know how much I love well written family dynamics so that was another positive! 🙂 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I thought it was good, but didn’t quite live up to the hype for me. I kept waiting for something amazing to happen and it never did? That’s the only way I can explain it 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I agree that the pace is fast but I’m totally ok with it because the story hooked me from the very first so I really don’t mind. And my fav character is Amari, she was well developed throughout the stoty! I’m in love with the world and more in love with Adeyemi’s writing! It’s hard to believe that this is her debut!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes the story hooked me too, I read this book so fast and was pretty much addicted to the story from start to end. Amari was amazing, I can’t wait to see more from her especially after the way this one ended, and actually the world building was my favourite part of this book so I get what you mean about it being hard to believe this is Tomi Adeyemi’s debut. Overall this is a great book. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Great review! Cannot agree more about Zelie and Amari being amazing characters! I wasn’t a big fan of the romance at all & the plot moved far too fast, but I thought it was very engaging all in all. Definitely reading the next book 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. 🙂 Yeah individually the character development was amazing, and I liked the romance between Amari and Tzain but wasn’t a fan of the one between Zelie and Inan unfortunately. :/
      Oh see I actually enjoyed how fast paced this one was, I sped through the book in what felt like no time at all. Still I’m glad you enjoyed this one, and yes same here! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Great review, Beth!

    I read this book last month too and I have to say, I ended up really loving it! I actually can’t wait to go back in for a reread with a physical copy so I can tab it all up and leave a million notes! I was so impressed with the way Tomi Adeyemi told the story and how this almost 500 page book didn’t even FEEL like it! This book definitely sucked me in right away and I can’t wait for the second book to be in my possession! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Swetlana. 🙂 Oh I’m really glad you loved this one, and actually it’s one I can see myself re-reading one day too (I have a feeling it’ll be one of those books I enjoy more the second time around as well!)
      I get what you mean, I read this one so quickly it didn’t feel like a 500 page book, it’s really an addictive story once you get sucked into it which you do really quickly. Me neither, I did really like this one so the second one is on my most anticipated list for when it is released! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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