My rating: 4 of 5 stars
First Published: March 6th, 2018
Publisher: Henry Holt BFYR
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Action, Magic, Romance
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.
We are all children of blood and bone.
All instruments of vengeance and virtue.
I want to join Zélie and Amari’s squad badly.
When you’re a university student, it’s very hard to finish a 500-page book in less than two days and not be five assignments behind, especially this close to the end of the semester.
But here we are, with me still alive and breathing and on track, as impossible as this may seem. I have to thank the author for making this a fast-paced story that does not include a guessing game in every new chapter – otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to read this one the bus and between classes.
Surprisingly enough, Children of Blood and Bone is one of those impressive stories that the more you read, the more important it becomes to you. It’s also one that has an intense progression, so much that when you look back at the first chapter, it’s as though you are in another story entirely.
This also means that the characters warm up to you gradually – they are not ones that you can automatically imagine yourself being best friends with. Even now, I admire Zélie and Amari profoundly, but I do wonder what we would talk about in real life, seeing that the girls’ minds are almost entirely on the issues to be solved. They do not discuss trivial matters, between themselves or with other characters, thus contributing to the sober atmosphere of the tale. But if I were in this world, I would do everything in my means to be part of their group. Together, they can truly move mountains.
The writing does, however, pull you in in a matter of seconds. It’s very focused on describing the actions and emotions of the protagonists from the first person point of view but without overdramatizing the situation. Getting inside the characters’ heads is important because they not only have to deal with external battles, they must extinguish internal ones, too, at times.
And since you’re dying to know why I dared take off a star, it’s simple enough: The magic in this world disappeared eleven years ago. I didn’t think it would make a difference if it disappeared a year ago or a hundred years ago, but the protagonists remembering what it was like to have magic made me feel like I wasn’t one hundred percent in sync with them. Not only that, but it would have been more powerful if Zélie had discovered magic after centuries of not having it around.
But it really is an astounding debut novel. After that ending, I am all the more intrigued to see where this series goes.
Follow me on: