I don’t understand why this book doesn’t get more recognition. I blew through it within 4 days and loved every second that I spent reading it. And yet, I haven’t heard a peep about it before. Know how I found it?
There was a sale in my favorite bookstore and I liked the cover so I thought why not. That was literally it.
And I’m so damn mad about it, that I’m going to basically shove it down your throats, so sorry about that, but I really think everyone should give it a chance because it’s honestly an amazing piece of work.
In the world of Children of Blood and Bones there are sorcerers/warlocks who are born with one of ten magical powers that they can use from the age of thirteen. These people have white hair from the beginning and that is how they are identified (which is insanely cool because most characters have really dark skin and the contrast really pleased my imagination).
Now, the story is about oppression. Saran, the king of Orisa (or Orisha? The copy I’ve read doesn’t use the “h”, so I won’t either from now on) wants to get rid of the magic in the world, because he sees it as a destructive force that is only a liability. He prevents a certain ritual from being performed, and thus, the magic is gone from people, but their hair still makes them an outlier. They have to pay higher taxes and are regularly thrown into work camps.
Zélie is a young sorceress who originally just wants to get some money for her family, so that they can pay the taxes. But in the end she ends up going on an adventure with an unlikely partner to perform the ritual and bring the magic back while the king and prince are after her.
My opinion (SPOILERS)
You guys… I can’t believe how good of a book this is. The characters are believable, raw and full of emotion. The scenery is perfect. I adored the wording (although I only read a translated copy, because that’s cheaper here), Tomi Adeyemi describes places so damn well. It honestly felt like I was right there, looking out on the world from the eyes of the characters. Exact reason why I took it everywhere while reading. Even fishing.
Also, I like that most people weren’t stereotypical. Amari took time to adjust to the new situation, but she eventually became a fighter. A… Suncat? I have no idea, that’s a mirror translation. Tzain lets his weak side show, doesn’t act like a tough guy all the time. And Zélie? She isn’t a hero constantly, she just pushes through sometimes.
Oh, and one more thing. PTSD. I have never seen someone describe it so well. “Like the magic was carved out of my back.” I can’t imagine a better way to say it.
I have one single complaint though. The romance. It was awfully built up and I couldn’t feel any chemistry between Zélie and Inan. Like, how do you suddenly lust for a dude who just burnt down your entire village and endangered the life of your only living parent a week ago? Tzain was kind of harsh on our little reaper, but he was completely right, all those insults were completely justified.
Who should read Children of Blood and Bone?
I’d say every single person out there, but I know that some of you may not like it as much as I did. So, instead, read the following list and if you recognize yourself in one of the points give it a try.
- You love fantasy
- You love beautiful worlds
- Some gorey scenes don’t disturb you
- Romance isn’t a necessity
- You like YA novels
- You like books about magic
But if you’re from Hungary beware: the following parts of the series likely won’t be published by Maxim because Children of Blood and Bones was overhyped and turned out to be a flop after release. So if you don’t want to invest time and energy into a series you can’t read as a hardcover book in Hungarian just don’t even start.