Children of Blood and Bones by Tomi Adeyemi: Deserving all the hype!


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.


4,5 stars

Have you ever been afraid to read a book that’s been really hyped? Yes? Because that’s how I felt with Children of Blood and Bones.
For months I’ve seen readers and bloggers rave about the book. Yet I did not feel drawn to it especially as the cover did nothing for me …at that time.

What pushed me to finally read it was attending YALC London for the first time. Tomi Adeyemi was one of the signing authors. I had to buy some books (yes had to! As a true bookworm you must understand what I’m speaking about) and this one made it on my list.

I began reading Children of Blood and Bones the day before meeting Tomi.
It was ambitious to think I would have finished it as the book is big with 525 pages and I was traveling with my daughter so conversation was expected (even if she too was engrossed in her books).

There is a saying telling “A Picture is worth a thousand words” so this went like:
Me *opening the first page and reading a few sentences*


Me *at YALC buying all the art print I could find about it*


Me * when the line before Tomi was so long that I despaired to have my book signed*


Me * today after having read till the wee hours to finish*


Now with actual words

Tomi Adeyemi wrote an epic and desperate story happening in an imaginary world filled with fantastic beasts and people with hair white as snow and silver eyes.

The crux of the story is the oppression of a whole people because they are different *bearer of magic* and frightens others with their powers. Or at least they frightened the king and he’s made his mission to destroy magic and their bearers.
The result was a massacre of thousands of adults maji, all marked by their white hair, leaving their kids and families broken. To ensure the complete destruction of this “race” taxes were due if you gave shelter to a diviner *maji without powers* and the taxes were so high diviners ended in the “stock” meaning slaves.

Zelie is a diviner whose mom has been killed by the king ten years ago, when magic deserted the majis and allowed their massacre. Zelie is a diviner and for all her bravado and brawl she is frightened all the time. Because as a diviner she can end in the stock. She is no better than cattle.

Of course as in every oppressed people you have a rebellion.

That’s what Mama Agba did all these years training diviners to fend for themselves and protect others with staffs.

“Pick Me. It’s all I can do not to scream. I dig my nails into the marula oak of my staff and squeeze to keep from fidgeting. Beads of sweat drip down mu back, but I can’t tell if it’s from dawn’s early heat or from my heart slamming against my chest. Moon after moon I’ve been passed over.
Today can’t be the same.”

These were the first opening lines of the book and they sucked me in.

From that point I’ve read feverishly the adventure of Zelie, her brother Tzain, Amari the king’s daughter and Inan the prince.

Told with three voices, the only voice missing is that of Tzain I followed Zelie in her quest to restore magic.
You have unexpected encounters, new allies, betrayals, twists and turns all along.

What I really did like was that even if Zelie had been chosen by the gods she was far from perfect. She was hotheaded, impulsive yet strong, loyal and courageous. She reminded me of Starr in The Hate U Give. Both female characters have been pushed at the front of a story bigger than they are. Both have doubts and don’t believe they are the right person to carry a whole people’s voice or destiny. Yet both fight when it’s time to fight because being courageous is not being fearless it’s acting even if you are frightened.
Zelie was above all else human at her core. She felt, doubted and suffered and that’s what made her a very relatable character in spite of her divine mission and badassery *is this a real word?* with a staff and later with magic.

So why not 5 stars?
Well I am a true romantic and there is one romance in this book that ended disappointing me. I won’t spoil your fun but let’s say that I had big hopes and when it ended it was barely like Tomi brushed it under the rug and all was forgotten.

Should you read this book?
Yes if you are looking for:
-epic story filled with action and magic;
-flawed heroes doubting their strength yet jumping head first in an adventurous quest and facing huge dangers;
-plot twists because in every quest you have ordeals and setbacks just to make the hero be even more determined;
-politics in YA because yes it reminded me of all oppressed people or races we have witnessed in the past and in recent years.

At the end of the book, no matter what the color of your hair, no matter what you wield magic or not, we are all the same, we are all children of blood and bones. That is the true message from this book.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?


Thanks for reading!


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34 Replies to “Children of Blood and Bones by Tomi Adeyemi: Deserving all the hype!”

  1. Great Review! I also loved how flawed and human Zelie was. I can’t wait for book 2 next year!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Exactly. That’s what made her so touching. She made mistakes, was impulsive …like us basically 😉

  2. Great review, Sophie! I loved this book but I’m not fan of the romance either. That ending was pretty good. I can’t wait to know what happens next.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Me too Raven! Once again we think the same 😉

  3. Yay, lovely review!
    I got this book recently when it went on sale. I was worried about the romance part cuz lot of reviews pointed out that it was unnecessary… but overall i have a good feeling about this.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Oh! I hadn’t really read other reviews Norrie but I am happy I am not the only one feeling like that!

  4. Brilliant review!! I’m so looking forward to reading this book!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you so much Julianna!!!

  5. This isn’t my type of read but WOW! Fantastic review Sophie, love your statement at the end!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you so much Trisy!!! It was my favorite sentences 😉

  6. Oh wow! I must admit, I’ve been wary of the hype on this one too, but your review just convinced me to pick it up and give it a try because it sounds AMAZING!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you so much Lindsay! I wish I could lend you a copy to make up your mind! We probably don’t live far from each other as Belgium is such a small country 😉

  7. Wonderful review Sophie! I have been dying to read this for a long time. Stories about oppression of a race and/or colonization are very close to my heart due to my country’s history. Once again, I love your review–it’s full of humor and at the same time so articulate!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Oh Tanaz you are too kind! And yes a country’s history can influence our reactions to certain books!

  8. I just purchased this book and now I can’t WAIT to get to it. YES, it is big so it is a big intimidating but from this review – it’s worth it!


    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Oh Mary I can’t wait for your review!!!!

  9. Glad you loved it! I did too! It was quite powerful! I felt the same about the romance, and I also felt like it was formed too easily.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Well that too Adrienne. The romance was too convenient then brushed under the rug. I wonder what is awaiting us in the next one!

  10. “She reminded me of Starr in The Hate U Give. Both female characters have been pushed at the front of a story bigger than they are.”
    I am so glad you finally got to this, and liked it as much as I did! I totally agree with you about the comparison of Starr and Zelie. The quote that you pulled out and made into a graphic was probably one of my favorites in the whole book!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      So you thought she was like Starr too Samantha? I am glad I am not alone imagining things LOL

  11. yay! I am so happy that you finally read this book and enjoyed it a lot too 🙂 This is definitely one of the best books that I have read this year. Everything about the story was perfect and the characters were awesome, so was the world-building.
    I agree with you on that romance part, but i think that left something for the next book, for which I am eagerly waiting for 😀
    And I liked your gifs and emotions 😀

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Yes Sim but what romance in the next oen? Do you think he will resurrect? Or will she have a new love interest??? And thank you!

  12. I haven’t read this book, but I’ve seen a lot of reviews for it. Like you, the cover just didn’t impress me. But there is a lot of love out there for it! I’m glad you fell on that side. 🙂

    Great review.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you Angie Elle! Maybe you’ll read it one day and think “why did I wait so long?” LOL

  13. Great review Sophie. I loved this one too and I agree with the romance. 🙂

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Oh yes the romance was so frustrating…I guess we’ll have another one in the next book but ….

  14. I so want to read this book – it’s been on my list for a while, but I need more hours in the day to read!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Don’t we all Teri! Why does the 48 hours day (36 hours reading and 8 hours sleeping) don’t exist yet? Work? eat? What for? LOL

  15. From the first chapter, it drew me in and it didn’t stop!!! I still have to read the rest of this and THUG but both books are captivating.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      That’s exactly what happened to me too Danielle. I began and I knew that I was a goner!

  16. Amazing review! Thia book really deserved all the hype because it really is a masterpiece! Amari is my fav and I really need Tzain POV!!!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Yes give me some Tzain in the next book Carolina! I don’t know why we did not get his POV…

  17. Great review, Sophie!
    I have been reading so many good reviews about this one since it came out!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you Kayla! If you have some room in your reading schedule you really should read this one 😉

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