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Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone is about Bringing Magic Back

27th February, 2017

Book review: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

With the help of a run away princess, Zelie must find a way to bring back magic into Orisha and out run the prince who wants to eradicate magic for good.

In brief

Children of Blood and Bone is the first book in the series The Legacy of Orisha, a fantasy set in the fictional land of Orisha. The novel is fast and action packed from the beginning to the end. It is told in the alternating POVs of Zelie, a young diviner; Amari, the princess of Orisha and Inan, the prince of Orisha. The diviners are maji without the magic. The maji were selected by gods and had their magical abilities surface at the age of thirteen. But a raid by the evil King Saran drives magic away from the lands. Zelie loses her mom, who was a maji, in this madness of selective racial destruction.

Zelie is now a diviner and practises daily the art of fighting with staff at Mama Agba’s place.  When she sees there is a chance that magic might be back in Orisha, she embarks on a mission to collect a few magical artefacts and complete a ritual before the solstice. Meanwhile, the king has sent his men and the prince (who nurses a deep and dark secret) to capture Zelie and her team before they can do harm and bring magic back.


The plot has many darker themes, the prominent one being that of racial discrimination. Remember muggles being looked down by ‘pure blood loving’ wizards in the Harry Potter series? The opposite happens in Orisha – the people with magical skills are not accepted. King Saran wipes out those who have magic in them and it goes down in history as the ‘Raid.’

I couldn’t help drawing parallels between the characters in Orisha and our present world. The downtrodden are taken advantage of and forced into poverty while the powerful men make decisions and gamble with the lives of the country men. There is a recurring theme of indecisiveness in the minds of the main characters on the concept of right and wrong. Sometimes what we have believed to be right all our lives might be wrong and sometimes our allegiance and trust might be reserved for the wrong person.

…less magic

This novel was a highly anticipated read of mine because of its theme of magic inspired by West Africa. I expected more magic and world building around the magical aspects of the world. But I was disappointed that the book was more about familiarizing the reader with the magic in the world of Orisha without going into depth. I wanted to know more about the Tiders, Reapers and Burners. For a larger part of the book, it remained more of a quest for the magical artefacts and slipped into the classic ‘chase-and-escape’ fantasy. I am hopeful Adeyemi will cover the magical aspects in more detail in the next book now that the foundation is laid.

Final Verdict :

I really enjoyed the book! I cannot wait for the movie. There are so many action scenes that will surely make a gripping movie.  I want to read the second book in the series as soon as possible because that was one cliffhanger of an ending! If you loved Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes, you will love this one to bits. And hey, if you have a thing for good fantasy reads, look no further.

Title : Children of Blood and Bone
Author : Tomi Adeyemi
Publisher : Henry Holt
Publication: 2018
Language : English
Pages : 448
Rating : 4/5

Disclaimer : Much thanks to Fierce Reads for an ARC of the book. All opinions are my own.

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Children of Blood and Bone


This Post Has 7 Comments
  1. Lovely review Resh Now I can’ Wait for my. Opu to arrive. I jave preordered it but well.. delivery date is around 10-12.. let’s see.
    Oh sorry that you are disappointed with the magic oart. But I think this book was more about layong foundation for the next book in the series, as you said. But I am sure reading about all that new Orisha world must have been exciting

    1. Yes, exactly. The foundation is strong so I can’t wait to see what the Reapers and Tiders and Burners will be doing in the next book. Plus this book stops at a nail biting cliffhanger. Hope you enjoy the read. I will be looking forward to your thoughts on the book

  2. Oh wow, I had no idea this was being made into a movie. This is one of my most anticipated 2018 reads so I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it, even though the lack of depth when it comes to the magic is a little disappointing to hear. That was a big selling point for me as well.

  3. I’m so excited for the Movie myself. My book arrives in a couple of days and I honestly can’t wait to read it!

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