Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi is the second book in the Legacy of Orïsha series. The cover illustration is absolutely gorgeous, definitely more appealing to me than the cover of Children of Blood and Bone. Going forward with this review, I am going to assume you have either read Children of Blood and Bone or my review for that book. If you haven’t read either, be prepared for some spoilers from Children of Blood and Bone. Like always, I will not have any spoilers for Children of Virtue and Vengeance.
Zélie and Amari successfully brought magic back to Orïsha. However, the ritual didn’t go as expected. Being more powerful than predicted, not only did the maji regain their powers, but the nobles gained the magic of their ancestors as well.
Even though the maji have their magic back, Zélie struggles to unite them now that the enemy is just as strong. Zélie is forced to fight for Amari’s spot on the throne when the military and monarchy join together to keep their control. All while protecting new maji from the monarchy’s hatred.
With the weight of everything on her shoulders, Zélie is at her breaking point when civil war threatens to break out. Now Zélie is responsible for finding a way to unite the kingdom or watch her home be torn apart.
The transition from Children of Blood and Bone to Children of Virtue and Vengeance was seamless. Even though some time had passed from book to book, I easily dived back into the story. At the end of Children of Blood and Bone, I had questions about how would altering the ritual effect the return of magic and what would happen with Inan?
My favorite aspect of Children of Virtue and Vengeance is learning more about the maji, magic, and the new roles everyone acquires. Now that magic has returned, there are examples of maji from each of the ten clans. Since Zélie is the one that brought magic back, her powers are stronger and unique among the maji. Throughout the story, different aspects of her new powers are revealed. It’s really interesting to see these powers come to life, Zélie learning how to use them and trying to figure out their purpose, and what these powers mean to the other maji.
Now for character development. Starting with Zélie, she becomes even more distrusting of anyone that is not Tzain or a maji. This is totally understandable given everything Zélie has gone through. However, Zélie becomes resentful, almost hateful, towards tîtáns (nobles with magic like Inan). The language she uses turn into “us versus them” and doesn’t sound a lot different from how the monarchs speak. I don’t like this aspect of Zélie, but at least she is not trying to be cruel, wants peace, and trying to free her people. Another thing about Zélie is that she is constantly battling with herself and going back and forth with how she wants to go about handling the war. Lastly, sweet Amari matures, struggles to find her place, and makes plenty of mistakes. By the end of Children of Virtue and Vengeance I don’t know how I feel about Amari’s character.
What I hope to see in the next book is Zélie starting to heal, more view points from other characters, and I’d love for the romantic relationships to be explored more deeply, surprisingly.
“You carry all of us in your heart. We shall live in every breath you take. Every incantation you speak.”
“We suffer so everyone else can smile.”
“No more fighting just to exist.”
“I understand why you want to be free.”
“You should know that there are weapons so great, they shouldn’t be used.”
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!