children of blood and bone by tomi adeyemi
published by: henry holt books for young readers on march 6, 2018
series: legacy of orisha book 1
it’s hard to believe that children of blood and bone is tomi adeyemi’s first book. this isn’t just the best ya fantasy debut i’ve read in a long time, but one of the best ya fantasies i’ve ever read. tomi adeyemi is the kind of unique, exceptional talent that only comes around every once in a while. COBB has taken the book community by storm since it came out, and for good reason. i think this is one of those situations where you should really believe the hype.
i’ll admit, coming into this book, i was slightly nervous. not only was it a 525-page, daunting epic high fantasy, but there was also so much hype surrounding it. i don’t think i’ve seen a book this hyped since the hate u give, which i read last year and absolutely adored. but alas, i couldn’t resist that gorgeous cover and the intriguing synopsis, aside from the fact that i was pretty sure i was the only person left in the book community who hadn’t picked it up yet. and i am so, so glad i made that decision. i haven’t read many books this year, since i’ve been so busy with school, but it’s books like this one that remind me why i love reading so much. it was an incredible escape from the stress of school, and i was able to lose myself in the world of orisha.
“i teach you to be warriors in the garden so you will never be gardeners in the war.”
and what a world orisha was. i saw in her author blurb that tomi adeyemi is a creative writing coach, and i would definitely want her to teach me how she builds such intricate worlds. i’m the kind of person who tends to gets very confused in fantasy books, which is why good world-building is so important to me. however, with COBB, i was never confused once. i completely understood the world and the politics surrounding it. what i think makes this book so incredible is how accurately ms. adeyemi reflected both current and past racial politics surrounding african-americans. in her author’s note, she speaks about police brutality and how it inspired her to write COBB, which only makes me love this book even more. a truly amazing book doesn’t just entertain you, it makes you think, and this book really made you think. the theme hope in spite of prejudice is so universal, and she conveyed it so accurately with these characters.
“you crushed us to build your monarchy on the backs of our blood and bone. your mistake wasn’t keeping us alive. it was thinking we’d never fight back!”
speaking of the characters, i think i speak for everyone when i say how much i loved tzain and amari. amari grew from a nervous, weak princess who couldn’t stand up for herself to a strong, brave warrior who did just that. character development is yet another one of ms. adeyemi’s strengths, because in the beginning, i wasn’t too fond of zelie, but she really grew on me. the author did such a good job of conveying the pain of her trauma, related to both her mother’s death and her torture, and i can’t wait for her to explore the latter more in the sequel.
inan was probably my least favorite character. i by no means hate him, but it really took me a while to warm up to him. i also feel like they did have a case of insta love, which i’m not a fan of. even though their relationship didn’t develop until around the 300-page mark, it felt too rushed to me, and in my opinion, it was the weakest part of the book. while i am a huge romance fan, i think COBB would have been just fine without the inan-zelie romance, especially since we still have tzain and amari. speaking of romance, though, am i the only one who ships roen and zelie? i can’t be the only one, right? i really hope they get together in the sequel, because even though he only showed up at the end, i was feeling a lot more sparks between the two of them than between zelie and inan.
speaking of the ending: it was SO good. tomi adeyemi writes action so well, and i was literally on the edge of my seat the entire time. i really had no idea what was going to happen, and of course, she still managed to surprise me. when the king stabbed inan….oh lord. what do you guys think? is he dead? to be honest, i actually think tomi adeyemi should kill him off. once again, i don’t hate him, but i think it would be a very brutal, shocking decision that would let her readers know that no one is safe. main characters are never really killed off in ya, but i think it’s a really cool creative decision more writers should try. i personally think she could do a lot with it….and it would also leave some room for roen and zelie 😉
all in all, this was an incredible read, one that i highly recommend to readers everywhere. i am beyond excited for the sequel, children of virtue and vengeance, which is scheduled to come out on march 5, 2019. i can’t wait!!!
have you guys read children of blood and bone? (i hope you have, otherwise you’ve just spoiled a lot for yourself) what were your thoughts? i’d love to hear them in the comments!
until next time,