Children of Blood and Bone (Raja Has Nothing on These Cats) | Book Review

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By: Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone at a Glance

  • Overall Rating:
  • Dude: We want to stab this YA Kylo Ren in the face
  • Heroines: We’ve got a Manon and Aelin in the making
  • Emotional: So many feelings we had to take lots of breaks
  • Brutality:  If carving slurs into your skin isn’t a good time we don’t know what is. (Heavy on the sarcasm)

Pairs Well With

The Leoponaire

  • 2 slices of lime
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 shots of Vodka
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Crushed Ice

     Beware. Spoilers are coming…


Teagan’s Reactions

Words cannot express how much I adored this book. It was beautiful, cruel and honestly something I think everyone should read. The parallels between the brutal Orishan society and our own terrifying modern day reality are striking and we can all learn from Zelie and Amari. Yeah, this novel is long but trust me you won’t be able to put it down and will be on your hands and knees begging for the next book.

The world building is strikingly beautiful. It’s got all the traditional YA components that readers eat-up: royalty, magic,  adventure, battles, romance and betrayal, mixed in with the harsh realities of racism, classism and violence. Adeyemi’s compelling writing guides readers through genocide, torture and systematic racism by introducing complex characters that must deal with these realities and fight to overcome them. It takes an amazing writer to keep me hooked enough to not run and hide from emotional scenes. Adeyemi forces you to face emotional situations head on and think about what you would do in their place.

The characters are complex and intriguing and I’ll never understand the magic Adeyemi must’ve used to fit in all their character growth in one novel without overwhelming readers. Zelie, a diviner turned maji, is a badass fighter from the first page and overcomes years of mental abuse and tragedy and ultimately torture to free magic. Amari is a princess who starts off “weak” and grows into herself and a fearless “Leoponaire” determined to fix the mess her family has created. I loved Amari’s growth as she realizes she can be more than a scared and passive princess but a badass warrior who can fix the horrors of their society. Inan was the most frustrating character to me. He’s basically Kylo Ren. I wanted him to be good. I wanted him and Zelie to end up together and fix society but instead he betrays her and their people because of his fear. Is it wrong I kind of hope he died??

The battle and action scenes were so intense. They were brutal but I loved that Adeyemi doesn’t hold back. Because reality is brutal and people die, racism and prejudice are not easily overcome and Adeyemi acknowledges that in her writing.

Also, Orishans ride around on giant cats. Please tell me where I can get myself a giant leoponaire to be my adventure friend? I love Naliyah. I need this in my life, guys. Need.

This is definitely one of my favorite reads in a while and I’m going to fan-girl about it to everyone I know.


Jess’s Reactions

Alright this was brutal. I had a really hard time finishing. Not because it wasn’t good, because it was pretty amazing, but It was just so intense that I had to take lots of breaks. Between Tzain using a human femur for a torch and the king carving the word maggot into Zelie’s back, I think anyone would need to go slow on this one. It’s just not a read-in-one-sitting kind of book for me emotionally.

The world building was beautiful. I could visualize all of these gorgeous locations from sea village to desert wasteland so easily. Adeyemi is a master of the world building in my opinion. I bow down to your greatness. I couldn’t be snarky about this book because it was basically a masterpiece.

Real quick – have these guys never seen Vampire Diaries because curses never get solved correctly. It’s just a thing about curses. Like all of them ever. This whole renewing magic thing was never gonna be that easy, let’s be real.

Amari and Tzain win this for me. Amari is a badass and she deserves to be queen. This girl slays and refuses to perpetuate her father’s Hitler regime, freeing the maji from his oppression and taking back their lives for them. Tzain was a pretty great big brother. He bails Zelie out of literally everything and is also a pretty awesome fighter. Amari and Tzain you can be my whole book two thank you very much.

Zelie I hated at first. She was selfish and reckless and I wanted to strangle her for some of her decisions. But, like all good characters she brought me around at the very end. There are some serious flaws, but I think she learned after Inan’s betrayal.

Inan. You little rat. Even if I remember that you and Zelie are teenagers, it does not excuse what you two put me through. The whiplash I sustained from their kill-you love-you relationship was just way too much. Pretty sure Inan killed that dead by being a little bitch and choosing his murdering father. You should have died with him.

I had a really hard time even contemplating their “romance.” They tried to kill each other and then literally the next day they fell in love! At lease Romeo and Juliet died and put us out of our silly teenage romance misery. I love bad guy characters, but Inan just drove me crazy with his back and forth. Boy has no idea what or who he wants and he is probably going to end the world that way.

I want a giant lion/cat monster to ride. I will name him Pogo.


Let us know what you thought of Children of Blood and Bone in the comments! 

Drink Up - Teagan & Jess

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