Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

In January, a friend on a cruise recommended I read “Children of Blood and Bone” when she saw I was reading “Call Me By Your Name” (I didn’t see much in common, but both were interesting reads!). Although I don’t usually read YA books, this book blew me away. The story instantly draws you in with its complex characters, powerful descriptions, and plot that mirrors themes relevant to today’s race and police brutality issues. I particularly loved Tomi Adeyemi’s concept of magic, not only in the wondrous depictions, but as a power that can divide and unite.

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Through my recent collaboration bookstagram @Quotethisbook, I have realized I tend to have some misconceptions about Young Adult books. Even as a kid, I preferred to read adult books and was very picky about which children’s books I read. My friends, Sophie and Carina, have shown me that even though the book may fall under the YA category, it can still tackle adult issues and be an entertaining read. If you are like me, you won’t be disappointed with this book!

Tomi Adeyemi has been compared to J.K. Rowling in certain book reviews, but I think the only commonalities are that they are very successful YA fantasy novels. Tomi Adeyemi creates a unique world and concept of magic. Magic is feared and revered. She paints beautiful scenes full of feeling, character, and color.

The main characters all have different experiences and personalities – Zelie channels her painful past and master her magic to become a fierce warrior, Amari summons her courage to come to terms with her shame and become a queen of a new order, and Inan struggles between his royal inheritance and his new identity in the belief that the two can be peacefully united. The viewpoints are all intriguing and the voices unique. With their kingdom suffering from injustice, the characters are presented different views on how to tackle the problem.

Tomi Adeyemi’s world had a difficult history between those with magic and those without. Both were afraid of the other and had suffered from previous attacks. The characters go on a mission to attempt to restore magic and power to the magi who had long been crushed under the wealthy group of non-magic peoples.

At the end of the book, Tomi Adeyemi discloses the source of her inspiration for the book: police brutality. Some themes are clear, like an oppressive authority and violent soldiers, but I contemplated the book for a few days after I had finished it to fully grasp the meanings behind the fantastical story. Each character seemed to represent a different approach to the problem, and the one who sought peace the most by following the rules faced deadly results. I want to see how the next book plays out and which character (or characters) Tomi Adeyemi believes to have the best methodology.

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After finishing the book, I immediately ordered the next one through the library, and I know that I’m going to be eager to read the third one when it comes out!

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