Children of Blood and Bone

Children of Blood and Bone

Book Club Kit - 2018
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Instant New York Times Bestseller
New York Times Notable Children's Books of 2018
TIME Top 10 Best YA and Children's Books of 2018
NPR 's Book Concierge 2018 Great Reads List
Buzzfeed's 24 Best YA Books of 2018
Bustle's Top 25 Best Young Adults Books of 2018
2018 Kirkus Prize Finalist
YALSA William C. Morris YA Debut Award Finalist
Paste Magazine's 30 Best YA Novels of 2018
Newsweek's 61 Best Books from 2018
Boston Globe's Best Children's Books of 2018
Publishers Weekly Best YA Books of 2018
School Library Journal Best Books of 2018
2019 YALSA Teen's Top Ten List

With five starred reviews, Tomi Adeyemi's West African-inspired fantasy debut, and instant #1 New York Times Bestseller, conjures a world of magic and danger, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir.

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.

"A phenomenon." -- Entertainment Weekly

"The epic I've been waiting for." -- New York Times -bestselling author Marie Lu

"You will be changed. You will be ready to rise up and reclaim your own magic!" -- New York Times -bestselling author Dhonielle Clayton

"The next big thing in literature and film." -- Ebony

"One of the biggest young adult fiction debut book deals of the year." -- Teen Vogue

This title has Common Core connections.

#1 New York Times bestseller , March 14, 2018

Publisher: New York : Henry Holt and Company, 2018.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781250170972
Branch Call Number: BOOK CLUB CHILDREN
Characteristics: 12 books (6 in each bag) (531 pages), 1 discussion guide, 2 bags.
Alternative Title: Children of blood & bone


From Library Staff

A West African-inspired fantasy where a magical young rebel teams up with a rogue princess to outwit the monarchy, who is determined to destroy magic for good.

William C. Morris Finalist

LPL_VanessaR Feb 28, 2019

Zélie's world as an underdog, as a maji, as a child tethered to the whims of a ruthless kingdom does what anyone would do in her situation: fight. Orïsha is filled with the blood and bones of her ancestors and present. She faces betrayal, violence, love, and intense sadness in her quest to save h... Read More »

This is *the* YA Fantasy book of the moment. I'm purposefully not looking up about the plot to make it a complete surprise, but I know it's set in a West African-inspired world and it's recommended for fans of Sabaa Tahir and Leigh Bardugo (two authors I'm obsessed with).

From the critics

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Jul 22, 2020

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi is a fantasy novel detailing a rich and well built world with an interesting cast of characters. Zélie once lived in a world that was run by the magic of Burners, Riders, Reapers and many others. But then there was the raid and magic disappeared. Under the King’s orders thousands of Maji (those who possess magic) were slaughtered including Zélie’s own mother. Years later, Zélie still suffers from the trauma from the raid, and when she has the chance to bring magic back forever she can’t say no. She sets off on a complicated and action-packed journey with her brother and a rogue princess. Nat far behind, the crown Prince stalks them, driven by his own fiero magic, his conflicting feelings for Zélie,and the hate that his father has ground into him.
Sabaa Tahir fans would enjoy Children of Blood and Bone because her novels have similar writing styles and the same quest/journey narrative. Furthermore, if you enjoy world driven narratives then you will for sure enjoy Children of Blood and Bone because one of the best parts of the book was exploring the complex and wonderful world that Adeyemi has built. I will say that some of the characters and their choices were frustrating especially towards the end but overall this book was a fantastic read. I would definitely recommend this to basically anyone but especially if you enjoy YA fantasy books and are looking for more diverse recommendations.

Reread May 2, 2020: this was just as glorious and lovely and kickass and heartbreaking as I remember. I'm SO glad I reread it before jumping into the sequel.

Tomi Adeyemi has crafted a magical world full of mythical creatures and unexpected twists, with characters that you love in the most unanticipated ways. I loved Zelie and her brash impulsiveness; I loved Amari and her cautious nature that's thrown to the wind when she becomes the Lionaire. I loved Tzain and his protectiveness of his sister; I even loved Inan and his moods that change with the tide. Not every character is strong, but holy, are these strong characters. Every single one of them, and every single side character, has motivations and colours to their soul that I feel we only scratched the surface of in this novel.

The world of Orïsha is so lush and rich and beautiful, yet heartbreaking and tragic and all too real, and another massive strength of this novel is how utterly relevant it is in the world today. You can feel the pain in the words, the way that injustice and racism and tragedy is melded with fantasy in order to bring these characters and their world to life, and it hit home with me so hard. The fact that there are children who are murdered every day in our world, just as they are in Orïsha, that there are people fighting to maintain the injustice and brutality, is a reality that I struggle to want to live in. Weaving these themes into the world just made it even more starkly, terrifyingly real.

Overall, this is an adventure novel, full of fantastical elements and characters who I absolutely adore and rooted for so hard that it makes me ache to think about now. It's action-packed, it's emotional, it's relevant in ways that other novels just aren't. Read it. You won't regret it.

Apr 24, 2020

I picked up this title totally unaware of the premise. Immediately I was drawn into the world of Orisha. The ruling class have instituted laws, heavy penalties, and practically enslaved the Maji class. At one time they were the class capable of wielding powerful forms of magic, but it only took a single night for their magic to disappear. Now the Maji suffer oppression at the hands of a cruel king. Zelie, the main character wants to find out what happened to the her peoples magic and find a way to restore it.
This is an excellent read. Even for people that aren't huge fantasy fans will enjoy it. For those that are it is a long needed breath of fresh air in a genre that all too often lacks diversity. I hope Adeyemi inspires more authors of color to add their take on the genre.

Apr 03, 2020

This was really great for the first half of the book. The second half was not exactly what I was hoping for. Amari’s character growth and arc was amazing, but I felt like Zélie’s got derailed at the halfway point. And the less said about Inan the better. Definitely gonna read the second book because I need to know what happens and I absolutely love Amari, but I’m hoping the problems I had with this one get fixed in Children of Virtue and Vengeance.

Apr 03, 2020

Finally finished and OMG this book is amazing! I havent lost myself in a book in so long honestly since I read Harry Potter. But this is on a whole new level this book is something I can relate to/see myself in. The charcter development was phenomenal. And it kept me on my toes with suspense.

Honestly I really hope they make this into a movie!

Ms. Adeyemi you rock girl thanks for creating this master piece!

Author: Tomi Adeyemi
A book similar to this one is Poem X.

Mar 10, 2020

That was quite an adventure. I couldn’t put it down but was forced to many times (adulting and parenting interferes with reading time). I feel so much for the main characters and the constant conflicts they constantly feel. What is right, what is wrong, the struggle is not simply good or evil. The answer is sometimes not as simple as everyone thought it would be. To me, it is as exciting has the Hunger Games series.

liljables Mar 03, 2020

This YA Fantasy novel has been on my radar for quite some time. Nigerian-American author Tomi Adeyemi has created a fantasy world that is so vividly detailed while also being crammed full of delicious social commentary (which should go hand-in-hand with any great fantasy novel). Children of Blood and Bone incorporates elements of West African mythology and Yoruba culture along with unique magical details. I loved the structure of the narrative, told from the perspectives of Zelie, Amari, and Amari’s brother Inan, who is in pursuit of our heroines. The chapters are quite short, often revealing two viewpoints on the same scenario back-to-back.

A quote from the New York Times review of CoBaB sums up my feelings quite nicely: this novel “storms the boundaries of the imagination. Yet it also confronts the conscience.” I stand by what I said above - a fantasy world that doesn't somehow comment on our own feels like a wasted opportunity. Adeyemi has written a captivating, magical story that also examines oppression, racism, and slavery in a way that both teen and adult readers can grasp. I can’t wait to see what happens next in Children of Vengeance and Virtue, the second book in the Legacy of Orisha trilogy.

Mar 01, 2020

Loved this book -read it in 4 days! The combination of fantasy, action, African mythology and a storyline analogous to current politics kept me from putting this book down.

Feb 10, 2020

Awesome book!!!

Dec 29, 2019

I really enjoyed this wonderful book, and I hope this review will help you too. Magic was forever gone, but only to the outside minds. Was it really gone 11 years ago, or did it just slumber? This book is written in 3 different perspectives, and you may feel yourself fall in love with each character. You may also feel the pain that the characters may face, or the hardships that they take. Do not be tricked, though, because each person comes with a twist. Magic is the key, or is it really? This book really got me hyped up, and I'm eagerly waiting to the read the second book. The author did a wonderful job of describing things and putting in lots of sensory details that the reader could picture right away. Literary devices (my favorite) were also included on almost every page. The characters are perfectly created, with each spin and a cherry on top. Foolishness, one of the great fears, are shown in this book. Learn to conquer the enemy, or the enemy wins. "They killed my mother. They took our magic. They tried to bury us. Now we rise." An amazing book that I would totally recommend. Thank you Tomi Adeyemi!

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Add Age Suitability
Dec 13, 2019

pink_deer_180 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Sep 09, 2019

AliceInWonderbread thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

DPLchandra Apr 20, 2019

DPLchandra thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Oct 07, 2018

C_02 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Jul 29, 2018

8576601_ thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 18

OPL_KrisC Jul 06, 2018

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

sarahbru17 May 11, 2018

sarahbru17 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


Add Notices
Apr 24, 2020

Sexual Content: Heavy "petting" between two characters. Age suitability depends on comfort level. Comparable to TV 14 is my guess

Oct 08, 2018

Sexual Content: Inan and Zel hug and then Inan touches Zel all over her body. There are also no more than 4 references to seduction. And the way the maji were treated by others is a bit scary. They are sometimes sent to brothels among other things.

Oct 07, 2018

Violence: Lots of people are seen dying. Even innocents. It was a bit unnerving.


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ArapahoeMaryA Aug 24, 2018

As it fades, I see the truth - in plain sight, yet hidden all along. We are all children of blood and bone. All instruments of vengeance and virtue. This truth holds me close, rocking me like a child in a mother's arms. It binds me in its love as death swallows me in its grasp.

Jun 13, 2018

Deep down, I know the truth. I knew it the moment I saw the maji of Ibadan in chains. The gods died with our magic. They are never coming back.


Add a Summary
Jun 13, 2018

Once, Orïsha was the land of maji, ten powerful clans, each with their own unique powers to command earth or water, life or death. But eleven years ago, King Saran conducted the Raid, cutting the maji off from their gods, and killing every practitioner old enough to have come into their powers. Only the divîners remain. Children at the time of the Raid, they will live their entire lives under the heel of the Royal Guard, derided as maggots, never coming into their inheritance. It seems that the gods have abandoned Orïsha. But tension is brewing in the royal family. Princess Amari’s best friend is a divîner named Binta, who serves as her chamber maid, and Prince Inan is hiding a dark secret of his own. Having lost her mother in the Raid, a young divîner named Zélie harbours a deep resentment for the royal family, and a longing for the Reaper powers she should have inherited on her thirteenth birthday. Instead, she trains to fight with a staff, and dreams of a day when the divîners will rise up against their oppressors. But the gods have plans to throw some unusual allies in her path.

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