Review: Children of Blood and Bone


Synopsis: “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 Zélia herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.”


This book was A M A Z I N G. The hype is REAL. Why? The author graduated from Harvard with an honors in English Lit. She was given a fellowship to study West-African mythology. This author knows her stuff. At first I wasn’t sure if I was going to read this book because I wanted to wait for reviews until a few months later. Then I went to see Black Panther and I just needed more Afro-inspired stories. Reading Children of Blood and Bone took me right back.

“In the beginning, our Sky Mother created the heavens and the earth, bringing life to the vast darkness. On earth, Sky Mother created humans, her children of blood and bone.” 

In Children of Blood and Bone, we have the POV of three characters: Zélie, Amari, and Inan. Tomi Adeyemi effortlessly carries you through the story. I felt like I was flying while reading this book. From page one, I was immediately captivated. It didn’t take long for me to become absorbed into this world. The author doesn’t waste time trying to explain every detail of this world. She shows, not tells. The author relies more on action than in-depth explanations, so the reader is engaged with the story and characters immediately.

“Before today, magic didn’t have a face. Not beyond beggars’ tales and hushed undertones of servant’s stories.”

I cannot begin to summarize the dozens of things that happen, but in a vision Mama Agba sees Zélie, Tzain, and Amari on a journey together and it’s realized that they must reach a temple. Once they reach this temple they meet Lekah, who tells the group that they must have all three artifacts (the scroll, the sunstone, and a dagger) in order to perform a ritual that will bring magic back to Orisha. Zélie learns what the gods have destined for her and a series of events occur that change her life forever.


The Story 

The world of Orisha is so captivating. From the different cities/towns to the history and from the origin stories to the gods/goddesses—Tomi knows how to do world building. Furthermore, you may have Avatar: The Last Airbender vibes while reading this. After watching MCU’s Black Panther, I had to read something similar. While Black Panther focuses on Afro-futurism, Children of Blood and Bone focuses on ancient magic and folklore. Black Panther definitely had scenes in which magic was used, thus bridging the gap between magic and science. It’s not difficult to see the similarities between the two Afro-inspired stories

“We are children of blood and bone. All instruments of vengeance and virtue.”

Tomi Adeyemi does exactly everything I need to absolutely love a fantasy book. She includes important and telling dialogue. She doesn’t keep us inside the character’s stream of consciousness the whole time. She doesn’t keep the character’s in the same place. They are constantly in motion, therefore, the story stays in motion. They actually travel within the world that the author created. A lot of YA fantasy keeps their characters in one single place which makes me SNOOZE.

“I won’t let your father get away with what he’s done. I won’t let your ignorance silence my pain.”

Another thing I love about the author’s story were the relationships. I enjoyed how the female friendship developed. I also enjoyed seeing an actual sibling relationship. There is definitely a hate-to-love thing that happens and one insta-love pairing. I’m not sure how I feel about the romance. One of the things I liked about the Harry Potter series is that there was a guy-guy-girl friendship without it becoming a love triangle. J.K. Rowling didn’t immediately pair them off. It wasn’t until they were much older that Hermione and Ron actually develop something. As far as romance goes in this story, I would have preferred if the characters were all “just friends” a little longer.


The Characters

(Warning: The character summaries may contain mild spoilers)

Zélie Adebola, A maji: Zélie reminds me SO much like Arya Stark. She’s ill-tempered, hot-headed, impatient, and is who she is due to a parent dying at a young age. The gods have “chosen” her to save magic. While Zélie is the “chosen one”, she is still flawed. You can tell she really cares, but at the same time shuts people out and trusts few. It was not hard to get attached to Zélie because the author does an excellent job at giving her a character goal and desire that is easy to relate to.

“Nice to see a day of impending death hasn’t dampened your spirits.” 


Tzain Adebola, Brother to Zélie:  We don’t have Tzain’s POV, but he has an important role in the story. He is protective of his sister and cares deeply about his family. Unfortunately, at one point Tzain indirectly implies that Zélie is acting like a whore. I am NOT going to count this scene against the author and bring out pitchforks over it. It just made me dislike Tzain. He has some valid reasons to be angry, but it felt somewhat out of character for him to say that. I thought women in this world were more respected then that. Let me say this AGAIN: This scene did not take away from my experience. I just thought it was worth noting.

“I could screw everything up for the remainder of his days, yet Tzain would still die trying to keep me safe.” 


Amari, Princess of Lagos: She is a rogue princess who witnesses her best friend/servant die simply because she is a maji. On impulse, she escapes her castle to save magic. I do wish I understood why since she would have also been indoctrinated by her father to hate magic. Her call to action occurs after her friend is murdered, but I can’t imagine how everything would have stayed the same otherwise if she had not witnessed something so tragic. She may not have known exactly how horrible her father was. Amari seems timid at first, but she truly surprised me. She doesn’t have the overt strength that Zélie has. Hers is a quiet strength, which I love because I’m probably more of an Amari than a Zélie.

“I see the seeds of a warrior.”


 Inan, Prince of Lagos: I don’t know why we have Inan’s POV when he ultimately doesn’t change. You can see how conflicted is throughout the story. Duty before self is the mantra Inan abides by. On the orders of his father, the King, he must hunt down his sister and Zélie and kill magic no matter what the cost. I can’t go into too much detail, but I do like that Inan is an example of the kind of character who doesn’t just change overnight. This character definitely struggles with a lot, which made his character more layered. There’s plenty Inan does that I don’t agree with it, but his flaws make him more believable.

“Duty before self .”


Roen: He doesn’t show up until the second half of the story, but he plays an important role later on. He is one of my favorite characters because of his witty banter, surprising skill set, and isn’t so serious all the dang time. This character will make you laugh. I can’t wait to read more about him in the sequel.

“It’s not belief, love, it’s insurance.”


Okay, so the ending has a lot of people shook but I kind of both assumed and wondered about the situation surrounding the ending. There was nothing that indicated that it was out of the realm of possibility. I can’t say more than that. I just think it’s super cool and I can’t wait to be with these characters again! What actually made me cry was the Author’s Note at the very end.

I know people are skeptical when they see a book get so many rave reviews, but I have honestly tried to find major issues. Any issues I may have are minor and didn’t ruin my overall experience with this story. It would be nit-picking at this point. Children of Blood and Bone has the death count of A Game of Thrones (don’t get too attached), the camaraderie of Harry Potter, and the world-building of Lord of the Rings. There’s a mash up of all these elements, but still unlike anything I’ve read because there is no Euro-centric world here.

The underlying message of the Black Lives Matter movement exists within the story, a message of resistance to your oppressors. It even goes further than that because Tomi Adeyemi reminded us that when we mourn the characters who died, remember to mourn the mothers, fathers, and children taken away from their families due to police brutality in real life. The author talks about this in the Author’s Note and it resonated with me. Zélie, Amari, and Tzain are a symbol for bravery, courage, and the passion that we all need in order to rise.

Rating: 5/5 stars

Let’s Chat

Have you read Children of Blood and Bone yet? What did you think? If not, are you excited to read it? Who’s your favorite character, so far? I would love to hear your thoughts!



Here is a list of 6 series I want to start. With the exception of Six of Crows, all of these have the last books of their series being published this year. I kind of like reading backlist series because it means I don’t have to wait as long in between books.


  1. The Nevernight series by Jay Kristoff // I own the first two books and the final book will be released this year. This is one of the few adults fantasy series I’m interested in. All I know is there are assassins, a revenge plot, and killer world building.
  2. Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo // I read Shadow and Bone but I wasn’t feeling it, but people said that the Six of Crows books are amazing. I believe them. I like the Grishaverse even though I didn’t become smitten with Bardugo’s first series.
  3. The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare //  I read The Mortal Instruments series and the first two books in The Infernal Devices, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I purchased the first two books of TDA purely for aesthetic reasons. The final installment is out December 2018.
  4. Strange the Dreamer duo-logy by Laini Taylor // I had mixed feelings about Daughter of Smoke and Bone but ultimately I liked Laini Taylor’s writing style. If I’m not mistaken, the second and final book is being released this year.
  5. The Binti trilogy by Nnedi Okorafor // This year I’ve been so sci-fi obsessed. I’ve also been trying to seek out more diverse authors who might be lesser known in popular genres. The author is Nigerian-American. Her stories are supposed to reflect her West-African heritage.
  6. Illuminae Files series by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff // I own the first two books and the final book was released this month. SCIENCE FICTION + SUSPENSE. Need I say more???

Let’s Chat 

Are there any popular book series you’ve been meaning to start? Are there any book series that are ending this year that you’ve already started or need to catch up on?

Bookish Items in Every Book Box

Copy of Copy of The stars say_-5

Last year alone I’ve tried Fairyloot, LitJoyCrate, Owlcrate, Unicorn Crate, and a couple others. Even though book subscriptions curate their items for each specific theme so no two things look alike, they consistently all have the same kind of things. Usually most boxes will include one hardcover new release book and several small items (2-4) along with one big item. After trying a few different book boxes last year, I have learned what to expect in each box. It’s actually pretty predictable. I also learned what kinds of bookish items I favor the most! I made this post to talk about my absolute favorite items to the ones I don’t particularly care for. Book boxes are like treasure boxes and sometimes you find something rare and unusual and other times you don’t. That’s just life.

The Pot of Gold: My Favorite Items

These are the items I wish were in every box I order, but sadly they are not. I personally find these items to be the most useful and give me more bang for my buck.  If every box came with these items only, I’d be a happy bookworm.

  • Tote bags
  • Book sleeves
  • A mug
  • A bookish candle
  • A Funko pop doll
  • Tea or hot cocoa
  • Articles of clothing such as scarves, hats, or even a sleeping mask
  • An extra book or ARC copy

The Bag of Silver: Items I Never Get Tired Of

These are the items that make my bookworm heart happy. The tea and bath products are perfect for a cozy read. They aren’t the most fancy items you can get, but they are handy and often  aesthetically pleasing.

  • Jewelry
  • Home goods, like oven mitts and tea strainers
  • Bath bombs
  • Prints or bookmarks (wooden, magnetic, metal)
  • Fridge magnets
  • Notepads or sticky notes

Bronze Coins: Items I Personally Never Use

I feel like these are the “filler” items for whenever they run out of ideas. I also have WAY too many of these items. I never want to see another coaster set again. I don’t know what to do with iron-on patches. I don’t even own an iron. Okay, I know you might be shocked when you see I have pillow cases on my list but I don’t own pillow inserts! The pillow cases I get are collecting dust. Most of the time, they are a blueish tone no matter who sends them, so they don’t match with anything I own.

I know some of you personally love getting the stuff below, but I have huge pile of these things and growing.

  • Lip balm
  • Socks (my shoe size is a size up up from “one size fits all”)
  • Pins or patches
  • Coasters
  • A pocket mirror or key chain
  • Pillow cases


This is just where it gets random and completely unrelated to books! I can’t think of more of the random items I’ve seen at the moment, but sometimes the people curating these boxes include the strangest things. Granted, some of them are SUPER useful but many times it’s just like, what???

  • Sunglasses
  • Cold drink tumbler
  • A water-proof portable stereo
  • Hand watches or rubber band


Let’s Chat!

What do you think? What are your top favorite items you’ve received in a book subscription box? Have you ever ordered one? Do you think it’s worth all the hype or way too expensive? Let me know!