Publisher: Henry Holt Books for Young Readers
Author: Tomi Adeyemi
Released: March 6th 2018
Warnings: Torture, graphic deaths, slavery, animal death
Children of Blood and Bone is one of those novels that you hear about from everyone, and almost every word is a positive one. Despite that, it took me longer than I would like to admit to finally read this book. But man, once I started it I had to finish it all as quickly as possible.
The series is based in a world where magic had once been alive and well, but is not gone. Young Zelie is determined to bring back magic though, because it’s the only way to save her people. This is a brilliant and emotionally compelling fantasy series if ever I’ve seen one.
Children of Blood and Bone is described as being a young adult fantasy, but honestly? It’s got a little bit of everything in it. Family, love, magic, courage, betrayal, culture, and so much more. I honestly believe that it appeals to a broader audience than the genre implies (but then again, I love this genre so I may be biased).
Side note: I actually listened to the audiobook for Children of Blood and Bone, and while it did take my longer that way, I think it was completely worth it. Not only was I able to hear names and terms, and therefore have a better idea of how they’re pronounced (I’m awful with names, have I mentioned that?) the woman reading the audiobook, Bahni Turpin, was absolutely amazing. Her accents for all the characters really brought a whole new level to the experience.
Warnings: There are a lot of really heavy moments in this novel. It adds to the depth of the story being told, but still consider yourself warned. There is slavery, graphic deaths, and torture. One of the main characters gets tortured, and you see it from both her perspective and another character’s perspective. Also, a couple of the mounts die during the course of this novel.
Side note for animal lovers: Nilah is fine, as far as I can tell. Now hopefully you won’t be the bundle of anxiety I was while reading/listening.
Children of Blood and Bone was an amazing read, and a truly unique experience. I can honestly now say that I understand why so many people gush about it as much as they do. This was a novel full of lush details, fascinating characters, and fantastic world building.
It isn’t every day where you get to read a novel with two extreme differences of opinion, and you have to admit to yourself that you can understand both sides. Now, mind you, in my case I could understand both sides, but I only really agreed with one side in particular. I certainly didn’t see a perfect solution that would make everyone happy. Thus I didn’t really envy the position these characters were in.
I loved Zelie’s character. She was so driven and passionate throughout the entire novel. It’s basically impossible not to get swept up in her one woman crusade. And yes, I know she had help along the way, I meant that more metaphorically than anything.
It was impossible not to feel moved by everything that happened in this book. There were so many tragedies happening all around, and so many people with whom we had the opportunity to care for. Tomi Adeyemi truly brought this world, and all of the characters within it, to life.
I’ll confess that I was a little bit surprised by the romantic subplot in this novel. That being said, it was brilliantly done. Every bit if it felt like it was driven by magic or the gods, or at least encouraged. I don’t want to say more, for sake of spoilers though.
While I loved Zelie, I think that Inan had possibly one of the most interesting character arcs I’ve seen in a while. (Spoiler warning) I’ve never seen a character go from being an antagonist, to a sympathetic character, to a character that I can’t connect to because he simply can’t stop making the wrong decisions. It made for a compelling tale, if nothing else. I have theories on what happened to him, and what might be next, but I’ll refrain for now.
The ending of Children of Blood and Bone has left me with so many questions…but I know that they’ll all likely be answered in the next novel. Mostly I’m just anxious to see what happens next. Also, I’m really happy that I managed to read this one before the adaptation came out.