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Saturday, 14 April 2018

REVIEW: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

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.

I enjoyed Tomi Adeyemi's debut novel but the more I think about it, the more convinced I am that it just wasn't as good as everybody else made it be in my opinion. As you probably know already, I really dislike books written in present tense (and I keep stumbling across them!) because it (the tense) makes it very hard for me to connect to the characters, especially when I can't relate to them.

The characters are the most important thing for me in books. When I read, I want to relate and connect with the characters, I want to like them, I want to be with them throughout their journey and actually feel what they feel. I failed with this novel and the only time it actually happened was at the very end.

For the most part, I didn't like nor did I dislike any of the characters. I was just super neutral about them which is never good. I didn't care about any of them. This isn't because they aren't written well, it was just because I couldn't relate to or connect with them. There was only one character that sparked my interest and he appears at the end of the book so that's that. 

The beginning of Children of Blood and Bone (CoBB) was quite slow in my opinion or at least I felt like it was slow, I know that while I was reading the first two chapters, I was extremely bored. However, I know that what was written wasn't necessarily bad, it just had no effect on me. 

Okay, obviously, this review won't be short and nor would it have a proper structure, I'm sorry.

Anyway, let me tell you about the last thing I didn't like before I go to the things I actually enjoyed.

Inan is one of my least favourite characters of all time and I just wanted him to get out of the way. Even though I understand his inner struggle with what he was vs what he was raised to believe, I just felt like he was one of those people who just refused to accept  that the world isn't just black and white even if it constantly hit him in the face. He was a highly dislikable person and I didn't feel sorry for him one bit.

What I liked was almost everything else. "But what is left to like?" you may ask. Well, I loved the plot, story and writing. Especially the writing- it's quite good, engaging and once I was into the story, I basically couldn't put it down. The world was very well-written, it is a rarity to read a YA book with good world-building and an interesting magic system, even though it wasn't described in full detail (this is going to be a series so I hope we get more info in the following books).

I always love reading about some magic abilities and the more different they are, the better. I loved them here even if they were vague. I loved Zelie's struggle with them, I loved how she was trying to learn about them and use them. 

What I didn't like is that the author has created some characters who can fight and by fight, I mean use weapons, but they never really did use them? I mean, they had a lot of opportunities, but I swear, there are just a few scenes of Zelie actually wielding her staff and Amari decided to use her sword at the very end. 

Personally, I'm very impressed with Amari's development, because she did go through a lot. So she is one of the characters I could have liked over time if I could relate or connect with her. Anyway, what I disliked was how after a certain impressive scene with a sword, she never used it again? It's like they wore their weapons as some fancy jewellery or something and I like when characters know how to use their weapons (check) and actually use them (NO check).

Before I read CoBB, I read in several reviews that there were well-written sibling relationships and I am glad to admit that indeed, there are. I loved how Tzain, Zelie's brother was always by her side, no matter how many times she screwed up (spoiler alert: a LOT). I loved his loyalty and I wish we had to read his POV instead of Inan's.

Tzain stayed loyal to his sister the whole time, he protected her and cared for her. He also cared for Amari and I loved how well he was presented. And now, it's time for me to introduce you all to Roën who appears late in the book and who is the only character to get my interest. He seems to be just the kind of person I like, so let's hope he stays this way and just develops. I really don't want to see him ruined or forgotten.

And last but not least - Zelie. As I said, I was quite neutral when it comes to the characters of this novel but I have never cared less for a character than I did for Zelie. I legit do NOT care what happens to her, I couldn't feel her pain, embarrassment or whatever else she felt. Most of the time I wanted to roll my eyes. 

You see, it's quite hard for me to review books that I liked but disliked at the same time because I tend to focus more on the negatives than on the positives. I did enjoy most of CoBB and I will read the second book. The series has potential and I'm also quite curious where this series is going to lead us to. I want to see Tomi Adeyemi's writing develop along with her characters and the overall story. 

What do you think?
Have you read the book? Did you enjoy it?


  1. So this character that interested you in the end--is he a certain guy who mans a ship? If yes, I was incredibly intrigued by him, too, and his character was witty. Plus I HATED Inan so much, and I'm just waiting for his character to get killed off at this point. :/ I'm so sorry you didn't enjoy this more; beautiful review, though! ♥

    - Aimee @ Aimee, Always

  2. I don’t know how should I give you thanks! I am totally stunned by your article. You saved my time. Thanks a million for sharing this article.