I can honestly say that Children of Blood and Bone deserves every bit of praise and hype it’s gotten, plus infinitely more.
We wrote a short article on author Tomi Adeyemi last year. If you need a refresher, here’s some fun facts:
Children of Blood and Bone was one of the biggest YA publishing deals ever, in history. It was a six-figure deal, and Macmillan Children’s Books won the bidding war for Adeyemi’s very first published novel. Adeyemi even has a movie deal already, a seven-figure deal with Fox 2000.
So, if all of that wasn’t insane enough, CBB is also an amazing book.
It’s described as a “West-African Fantasy” and is set in the fictional country of Orïsha. Zélie, the main protagonist, remembers a time when Orïsha was full of magic, and life, and peace. After a massacre called the Raid, during which Zélie’s mother was violently killed, magic is gone. Those who have magic in their blood are easily recognizable by their bright white hair, but without their powers they’ve become walking targets. Armed with a staff, a sliver of magic, and an unlikely traveling companion, Zélie has to find a way to bring magic back before it slips away forever.
When I started reading, I was hooked by page three. After that, opening CBB felt like an indulgence. Getting back into the world, into the heads of the characters, was like cracking open a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. In case you aren’t as obsessed with chocolate as I am, that’s a feeling of pure euphoria.
The character building is well done, the world building is well thought out, the writing is lovely, and Adeyemi is a master of plotlines. Truly, every time I got comfortable she mixed things up — in a good way.
Adeyemi described CBB before it came out as a mixture of Avatar: The Last Airbender and Black Lives Matter; I could get behind that before, but now that I’ve read it I’m in love. This book is literally Black Girl Magic, and it deserves the world. I can only hope the movie lives up to the book.
If you love a good book, whether you’re an avid fantasy reader or not, you should absolutely check out Children of Blood and Bone. It’s worth every penny, and you’ll be able to get in on the ground floor before it becomes a huge bestseller and a Fox 2000 film.