Picture this: all-Black characters, set in a fictional world not too far from Lagos, Nigerian mythology, and the perfect balance of action/adventure and emotional growth between the most unlikely group of people. You can expect this from Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (and more)! This book is frequently recommended on Black Booktok for a good reason, and I will touch on a few reasons in this review. This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read and share this review with a friend!
- If you’re looking for an introduction to fantasy or consider yourself to be a fantasy expert, this story has amazing world-building. The author does a fantastic job explaining what is happening without overwhelming you or info dumping. This is a series, so if there are some elements left unexplained, you’ll get your answers as the series progresses.
- The characters in this story may be under the age of 21, but the level of maturity they show is far beyond their age. From Zelie’s determination, Tzain’s protective nature, Amari’s pure heart, and Inan’s desire to protect his people there is something for you to relate to in each of their stories. It is not a spoiler to say that no character is the same once you reach the end of the book.
- I can personally say there is not a moment in this book where you are “dragging” through it. There are scenes where you are taking a break from the action, but during those times you are resolving previous conflicts or learning more about the characters and their mindsets. The pacing is as close to perfect as a story can get! The story has constant and consistent progression without leaving the reader behind.
Themes/ Symbolism/ Messages
- multiple themes in this novel dive into the issues and challenges we face in the Black culture that are explored beautifully throughout this story. From parallels between police brutality and discussions about hair to the undying fight, Black people have when it comes to displaying their rights to freedom in our current day.
There are a lot of books trending right now and more books to come in 2024. However, I encourage you to take a trip back to 2018 when this book was released and give it a shot. It is the perfect introduction to YA fantasy, with wonderful amounts of representation, and a story that deserves to be on every book lover’s shelf. Bonus: if you are the type of person who likes to be a part of a fandom before it hits the big screen, now is the perfect time to get reading! Book 2, Children of Virtue and Vengeance is available now and the third and final book in the series, Children of Anguish and Anarchy is available for pre-order now and will be released on June 25, 2024!