Top Shelf: Children of Blood and Bone
Updated: Nov 22, 2020
Children of Blood and Bone is an award-winning young adult fantasy fiction story, told from the rotating first-person perspective of teenagers Zélie, Tzain, Inan and Amari. It includes all the best of the fantasy genre--love, magic, questing and a brutal king. As Zélie Adebola, the heroine, fights to restore magic (and ultimately save an entire race) before time runs out, these four young people of Orïsha learn a lot about who they are.
This was definitely a coming-of-age tale, and the teenage characters would be incredibly appealing to a YA audience. However, as a middle-aged mom, I did not feel as if I was reading a book too youthful for me. Complex issues of race, grief, torture, poverty and fear were woven into the journey of the four main characters. While the book certainly had heartbreaking moments, there were also scenes of joy and celebration. I also enjoyed that the story was focused on two sets of siblings, since their family dynamics often dictated their complicated actions and reactions.
I actually listened to this one as an audiobook through our local library, and I recommend it if you have that option or subscribe to a service like Audible. (I also find that audiobooks are a great incentive to exercise, since it's motivating to have a good story to listen to!)
I’d been struggling to get back into fantasy after investing a significant amount of time in the characters and world of the seven-book Sarah Maas series, Throne of Glass. With Children of Blood and Bone, I was finally able to get engrossed in a different fantasy world and appreciate the characters and dynamics of a new realm. I believe the first person narrative was the main reason for that strong connection; these four young characters were all flawed, yet endearing. I found myself rooting for or sympathizing with each of them in their respective chapters.
I’m looking forward to reading the sequel, Children of Virtue and Vengence, and the third book in the trilogy (expected next year). In addition, the movie rights were purchased by Fox, and the film is in development. It is the debut novel from author Tomi Adeyemi, and she was just named to Forbes 30 Under 30!
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