I was drawn to Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi because of the cover. I really love dark themed covers and when the illustrations are beautiful or unique. Specifically to Children of Blood and Bone, what drew me in was the stark white hair on the girl and the voodoo vibes. Now, I want to say that the religion in Children of Blood and Bone does not exhibit voodoo, but there is magic.
Zélie Adebola remembers a world where Tiders manipulated water, Burners summoned flames, and her Reaper mother commanded souls. However, a merciless king destroys everything in a single night known as the Raid. Maji die and magic disappears, leaving Zélie hopeless and without her mother.
Now Zélie is her people’s last hope. There is one last chance to return magic and take on the monarchy, and the gods chose Zélie for this task. With the unexpected help of the rogue princess, Zélie must outsmart and stay out of the hands of the prince who is obsessed with the destruction of magic.
With snow leoponaires roaming and spirits seeking revenge, Orïsha is a dangerous place. However, struggling to control her powers and her feelings, Zélie might be the greatest threat to magic returning.
I want to start by saying that Tomi Adeyemi wrote Children of Blood and Bone in response to what she was witnessing in the black community and the Black Lives Matter movement. This was not something I was aware of when I bought the book nor when I started reading it. While reading Children of Blood and Bone, I was able to make the connection through the kosidán and the divîner relationship, those without magic and those with magic respectfully. I believe that Children of Blood and Bone is a great fantasy book to explore this topic for teens, those that don’t enjoy non-fiction, and those who might need a fictional story to start with to learn.
Now Zélie is a divîner, which means she has bright white hair, silver eyes, ebony skin, and magic. Well, if it hadn’t been stolen by the monarchy that is. What is appealing about Zélie is that she’s a warrior, prone to ‘screwing things up’, emotional, and broken yet strong. The fact that Zélie has lost magic, her mother, and hope due to the monarchy and hate it spews, she can’t keep her mouth shut and stand up against them. The development that Zélie has from the beginning, with her fear and hatred of nobles and the monarchy, to the end of the book where she embraces her fear and understands and let’s go of some of her hate. This is reflected in Zélie’s relationships that are developed. I’m not a fan of some of these relationships, but I understand why they happened.
Since I kind of described the story already, I want to touch on Zélie’s hair. In the beginning it wasn’t apparent to me that Zélie’s hair is straight. I imagined Zélie’s hair as white coils hanging down her back. Once I learned that Zélie’s hair was straight and abnormal for a divîner, I paid attention to it. As the story progresses, Zélie’s hair starts the gradual process from straight to tight coils. The symbolism in Zélie’s hair has dual purpose. First there is the shame Zélie feels about her straight hair, which is the opposite of how some people view POC’s hair. Second the process from straight hair to tight coils shows another example of Zélie’s growth. I just love Zélie as a character so much.
“Courage does not always roar. Valor does not always shine.”
“They don’t hate you, my child. They hate what you were meant to become.”
“We are all children of blood and bone. All instruments of vengeance and virtue.”
“Let them taste the terror they make us swallow.”
“I don’t know what shocks me more — the power in my voice or the words themselves.”
Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Add it to Your List: Add to your Goodreads
Snag a Copy: I will always suggest getting the hard cover, but buy in any format on Amazon
Interested in other books that I’ve read? Check out my other book reviews here!