Title: Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha #1)
Author: Tomi Adeyemi
Intended audience: YA
Date Read: 01/08/2020– 09/08/2020
I haven’t read a really strong YA high fantasy in a long time. This one definitely fit the bill. It took me a little while to get into, but that was partly because I was feeling reading slumpy and only getting through maybe 10 or 20 pages a day. Once I was able to sit down and give it my undivided attention, I became much more invested.
I loved that this wasn’t a fantasy with obvious good guys and obvious bad guys. There’s lots of politics, and you can see what drives the characters you don’t agree with.
Sometimes the pacing was a little off – seemingly insignificant things went on for ages while significant things were covered in half a page. And sometimes the world-building seemed inconsistent – why does Zelie have to perform this amazing ritual to bring magic back when it seems everybody can just get their magic by touching this special artefact? I also wasn’t sold on the romance – it happened so quickly and it was Twu Wuv right from the get-go.
As to characters, I really loved Tzain and Amari, but both Zelie and Inan wore on me. There are a couple of instances of characters you are just getting to know and love being killed, which is a deliberate choice of this author; the story is her response to police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement.
I read this for book club and it was definitely interesting hearing our different reading experiences with this book. In particular, one member listened to the audio book, which is narrated by a Black woman in an accent reminiscent of the cultures by which the book is inspired.
The book ends on a little bit of a cliffhanger, and I’m definitely interested in seeing where the second book goes. There’s a lot of setup for future events and things are going to get messy.