Book of the Month – November 2019
Children Of Blood And Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Series: (Legacy of Orïsha #1)
Firstly, I want to say, it was unfortunate that I didn’t have the time to read this in one setting as it truly deserved it and story for me would have been enhanced by the one sitting read.
It would be easy to go through the motions with a story like this: inequality or prejudice occurs in a world very much like our own and a young plucky protagonist with a band of friends steps up to right the wrongs. What takes Children of Blood and Bone beyond that is the plot, setting, world building and the female characters. I leave my opinions on the male character development or lack thereof towards the end..
The story is told from three POV: Zélie who has inherited her magical ability from her murdered mother and lives a persecuted life due to the ruling class. Princess Amani, who makes a stand against her family and the rule of law after a personal tragedy and Crown Prince Inan, who wants to fulfil what he believes is his duty to the kingdom.
They killed my mother. They took our magic. They tried to bury us.
Now we rise.
Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.
But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were 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 Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy. Goodreads blurb
This book is a character study in teens growing and developing, family obligation and power dynamics. Recently I have been reading a lot of Teen/YA, protagonists with complicated and complex lives and this fit quite nicely into that category.
Fear and hatred of the different
It shows that when you ignore your history, disregard your ancestors, seek false ways – The firm belief that magic takes away and doesn’t add or enhance life -, your way of life comes at a cost. The new world after the Raid (purge of those with magic) was built on the backs and blood of maji those in the stocks.
The corrosive effects of hatred is seen throughout the book
Do you hate more than you love?
Do you see differences rather than similarities?
For every person that sees truth or injustice there are others that see what they want to rather that what is actual there. Perspective is skewed from a position of influence or power.
Inheritance/ Destiny/ Duty
What happens when you embrace or reject your inheritance, destiny or duty? What is your inheritance? How do you grow into your inheritance? Is it what your parents or culture dictates or one you make for yourself?
It is very different for each character in this book.
Every child has their own cross to bear whether noble, maji or non-magical
Zél acknowledges and shares the difference between her and her brother Tzain on more than one occasion. She retorts that Tzain doesn’t get to experience the world the way she does. However, her self-absorption is rebutted by Tzain stating “You think I don’t know what it’s like to wake up every day and worry it’s going to be your last” . On occasion Tzain is able to emote.
Amani sees Zél as a person who faces her fear and grows into the being, she is destined to be
“Despite her obvious fear, she still fights. No one allows her to run away” Amani is ever Zél’s cheerleader.
When you’re growing from a child to an adult you start, in fact, have to make your own choices and take decisions of your own and sometimes they’re wrong but it is the learning from that which saves you repeating mistakes.
For those that do nothing, the true price of inaction is to remain on the side-lines, having no decision-making powers, no influence on events. Amani sees this for herself and takes the decision to make a stand. Next Page