Book Review: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi




They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.

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.


The hype built up around this book was too much to handle, and I deliberately stopped my self from knowing too much of the plot. It was one of the best reading decisions I’ve ever made.

As a debut novel, Children of Blood and Bone gives us an adventure of a lifetime. Sure, it had elements of a typical fantasy novel — stranger destined for something greater, grows feeling for the enemy, learns how to live up to expectations. But this story and (this world, Orïsha) had so much more to offer.

I fell I love with the writing. For a 500-page book, I thought it would be very dragging. I was wrong. The pace gave life to the story, and it definitely lived up to the hype. I was flying through the novel with excitement in my heart, excited to know what’s going to happen next. All the cliffhangers were worth it.

“We’ve been knocked down for far too long. Now let’s rise.”

The characters, in my opinion, were so well-developed too. Zelie went through a lot, and in that process she learned how to become the hope Orïsha needed. Amari also became one of my favorites. Like Zelie, she endured a lot of things before she finally believed in herself. She’s as much of a heroine as Zelie is. Inan, on the other hand, had a love-hate relationship with me. I don’t know about you, but it felt like he seeks validation every single time from his father.

I don’t want to talk more because I don’t want to spoil the book. I’m excited to see how these characters play out in the next novels.

Tomi Adeyemi has a knack of giving life to characters, especially the ones the world needs. When I was reading her Author’s Note, I realized that this was a book that paid tribute to everyone who suffered racial discrimination and violence. It’s very current, and it has meat. Surely, it sheds light to some things we never cared to talk about. I’m glad Adeyemi braved herself to make a story out of it. Personally, I felt that Adeyemi was the Zelie we needed.

This is the kind of book that will keep you coming back for more. It’s filled with action, adventure and magic. I wish I bought the book in its hard cover edition, but it’s really hard to find one in my country. This book will stay on my shelf forever!

Children of Blood and Bone is the first book in the Legacy if Orïsha Series. It will also be adapted into a movie by Disney (Fox 2000), directed by Rick Famuyiwa and script writing by David Magee and Kay Oyegun.

Children of Virtue and Vengeance, the second book of the series, is slated for a December 2019 release. I can’t wait to dive into this series further!





Tomi Adeyemi is a Nigerian-American writer and creative writing coach based in San Diego, California. Her debut novel, CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE, will be adapted to a movie, and is currently in development at Fox with the producers of Twilight and The Maze Runner attached. She can be found blogging and teaching creative writing to her 4,500 subscribers at


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