I am incredibly wary of novels that come with MASSIVE amount of hype around them.
For the first half of 2018, no book has been as talked about, or as nerve-racking for me to read, than Tomi Adeyemi’s debut novel, Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha #1).
Was my wariness of Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha #1) justified? Keep on reading to find out my thoughts and opinions.
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Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha #1) by Tomi Adeyemi
Publisher: Henry Holt Books for Young Readers (March 6, 2018)
Print Length: 525 pages
Audiobook Length: 18 hrs and 9 mins
Narrator: Bahni Turpin
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.
While the overall pacing of the novel was fantastic I did find the beginning to drag on just a tad, which is probably why I couldn’t give this all of the stars. However, I understand why this happened, given that it is the first book in a series and the world needs to be built before true appreciation for the themes, characters, and authors impeccable writing style. With that said, when it came to it, Adeyemi did not hold back when it came to thrusting her characters into the thick of the action. With epic chases, battles, using a multitude of different weaponry, and the inclusion of magic, the world of Orïsha was fleshed out to a point that the book could be West-African folklore instead of a fantasy inspired by 21st century events.
Before we dive into talking about the characters of Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha) I need to talk about the audiobook version of this novel. While I don’t usually talk much about the audiobook medium here on The Paperback Pilgrim, I have to say that I think I enjoyed this book more audibly then I ever would have if I just picked up the physical book. I’ve listened to several audiobooks with Bahni Turpin as its narrator, and every time I am swept away by her unforgettable renditions, Children of Blood and Bone being no exception. From the way she changed her voice to distinguish between the three PoVs, to hearing her pronounce words and sing phrases, Turpin utterly transforms the text into something far beyond what my internal voice could have dreamed up.
The PoVs in Children of Blood and Bone were unique, dynamic, and demanding. Zélie, Amari, and Inan all go through so much through out this book that their character progression is impression, and yet, at the start of the book each character had already gone through so much in their young lives that I was surprised there was anywhere for them to grow. While a lot of reviews comment on the relationship between Zélie and Inan, I have to say my favourite relationships were between Zélie and her brother, Tzain, and Zélie and Amari. It was especially nice to see Zélie and Amari start as polar opposites, only to end in very similar places by then end of the novel.
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
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And those are my thoughts on Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha) by Tomi Adeyemi. Have any YA fantasy reads you think I should check out? Leave your recommendation below and help my TBR grow.