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Review: Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha #1) by Tomi Adeymi

April 6, 2018
Children of Blood and Bone, Legacy of Orïsha #1, Tomi Adeyemi, Book Review, InToriLex
Published By: Henry Holt Books for Young Readers on March 6, 2018
Format Read: Hardcover Edition (525 pages)
Genre: Young Adult/ Fantasy/Own Voices
Series: Book One of Legacy of Orisha
Source: Purchased
Rating: FIVE STARS
Children of Blood and Bone
~Amazon~
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.

VERDICT:

Content Warning: Torture, Violence, Attempted Rape

REVIEW:

West African inspired fantasy is a rare gem, I really connected to this book. The author has built a world I want to get lost in over and over again. The protagonist Zelie is a young woman determined to stand up for what's right who sets out to restore magic in her Kingdom.  Princess Amari joins Zelie after she is saved from being taken by King Saran's (Orisha's King) soldiers. The book alternates between Amari and Zelie's perspectives, the great character development keeps you cheering for them both. Through their use of magic, wit and her companions Zellie and Amari take on a epic journey and faces ruthless killers along the way.
"Please, I want to understand."
"You can't. They built this world for you, built it to love you, They never cursed at you in the streets, never broke down the doors of your home. "
Adeymi was inspired by racially charged violence when she decided to write this book. There are many parallels between how those in power oppress those without in Orisha and the United States. The Maji are identifiable by their white hair, and most of the adult Maji were killed in a raid. King Saran keeps the remaining Maji to impoverished parts of Orisha, subjects them to harsh treatment by his solders and forces them to pay taxes. Orishan soilders are given free reign to mistreat and take from the Maji as they please.

The world building, action, romance, and magic system was incredibly described. Although there were familiar young adult tropes, the representation and parallels to the racism African Americans face made this special. There were plot twists and story lines that made me read in long stretches while I was fighting sleep. The ending made it clear that there is so much more intrigue and action to come in Orisha. This was one of my most anticipated reads and will be one of my favorites for the year.

Recommended for readers who
-enjoy creative world building
-want to learn more about West African culture
-enjoy thinking deeply about racially charges oppression
-enjoy fantasy you don't want to end

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tomi Adeyemi is a Nigerian-American writer and creative writing coach based in San Diego, California. Her debut novel, CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE, comes out March 6th, 2018 and the movie is currently in development at Fox with the producers of Twilight and The Maze Runner attached. After graduating Harvard University with an honors degree in English literature, she received a fellowship that allowed her to study West African mythology and culture in Salvador, Brazil. When she’s not working on her novels or watching Scandal, she can be found blogging and teaching creative writing to her 3,500 subscribers at tomiadeyemi.com. Her website has been named one of the 101 best websites for writers by Writer’s Digest.
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