Children of Blood and Bone

Children of Blood and Bone

Book - 2018
Average Rating:
Rate this:
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.
Publisher: New York : Henry Holt and Company, [2018]
ISBN: 9781250170972
Call Number: ADEYEMI
Characteristics: 531 pages ; 24 cm
Subjects: Novels.
Fantasy fiction.
Government, Resistance to -- Fiction.
Prejudices -- Fiction.
Magic -- Fiction.
Brothers and sisters -- Fiction.


From Library Staff

AshleyF2008 Jul 02, 2018

This book has so much going for it that I have no complaints. Rich world, sympathetic characters, complex plot. I had a couple of worries that were resolved at the end. Looking forward to the next book!

sarahbru17 May 11, 2018

Characters: 9/10
Plot: 10/10
Writing: 9/10
This debut has rightly earned its reputation. Orїsha is a beautifully developed world. I loved that I had to look up words for clothing and food; the setting felt utterly real. The story had the familiar feel of any other YA fantasy, but the rich cult... Read More »

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Oct 15, 2018

Slow to start but moves with great speed once you settle in. Stick with it and you'll be rewarded with a great fantasy novel from this new author. Can't wait to read the next one!

Oct 08, 2018

I wrote a long review on this book, so here is the jist of it. If you are interested in reading the whole thing, you can visit my blog here:

The author reallllyyyyy reallyy really pulls you into the story.
However, the King’s lack of care for people makes me uncomfortable. The book makes me a bit uncomfortable when 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 beaten, sent to brothels, or forced to work in mines.
However, if you can manage to glance over all the horrifying/awful/uncomfortable stuff, the story line is really good! That is why I HAD to finish it. I will not read the sequel; I’ll probably just read the ending summary or something or just read everyone’s comments.

Sep 29, 2018

Make no mistake, while the language is lyrical and the story is moving, this is an incredibly powerful meditation on genocide. I was often torn between the desire to keep on reading and the desire to make the story stop. Sometimes, I wished that I could somehow insert myself in the story in order to participate its the events.

Sep 16, 2018

This book was amazing! I couldn't put it down. The vibrant culture was skillfully woven through the story. I wish I could see this as a movie or series. There were so many powerful truths about humanity and how we view each other. Powerful

ArapahoeMaryA Aug 24, 2018

This debut YA fantasy boasts a badass heroine, epic battles, a touch of magic and a nod from the illustrious Jimmy Fallon...what's not to like?

Aug 22, 2018

Interesting plot and story line, but the characters weren't built up very much and the plot felt rushed. It felt like it occurred over 3 days, not a month. Zelie's sudden romance was silly and unnecessary, as was the death at the end. I'll still read the next book, I want to see where the rebellion leads and I like Roen.

ArapahoeRead Aug 22, 2018

An interesting fantasy novel that draws from African mythology to create an unique world. The story also comments on hate and prejudice, and the changes in POV are a nice touch. I'm looking forward to the rest of this series!

EvaELPL Aug 20, 2018

What an absolute delight. While this book is centered around several familiar young adult touchstones -- a fantasy dystopian society in upheaval, peril and intrigue, and a special girl who is the key to right it all -- it was still such a wonderful breath of fresh air in a sometimes oversaturated market. The elaborate world-building is rooted in West African culture and mythology, nearly the entire cast of characters is black (almost unheard of in the whitewashed world of mass market YA, particularly YA fantasy), and Adeyemi is a deft hand at weaving in timely issues related to social justice and equity: abuse of power on a structural level, colorism, systemic oppression and disenfranchisment, class and wealth inequality, and more. Every component of this novel is pieced together deliberately and thoughtfully with evocative and emotionally resonant writing, and the final product sets a new high bar for the genre.

ArapahoeJulieD Aug 01, 2018

If you like compelling characters, an engrossing story, and world-building that makes a fictional place feel tangible, then this is the book for you!

PimaLib_ChristineR Jul 28, 2018

This is an exceptional book. If you're a traditional YA reader, there's a chance the size of this novel and the names may give you the same kind of fear as attacking War & Peace. But in the same way that YA writers are expanding into Russia and using it as a basis for world-building, Adeyemi uses the heritage of Southwest Africa as a basis for her world.

Children of Blood and Bone is the kind of novel that spurred a bidding war by publishing companies and had a three-movie deal before it was even published, and that's for good reason. Adeyemi builds a compelling world where King Saran has somehow banished magic, including killing all of his subject able to practice magic, the Maji, in an attempt to secure his throne. It is now eleven years later, and Saran has discovered an object that will enable the hidden magic inside a diviner (a magi without magic), and he is determined to destroy it, and any hidden maji, for good. He has convinced his son, Inan, that the only way to hold power is to make sure that magic cannot be used against the throne.

Inan plays the villain, tracking down those who would bring back magic. On the other side is Zelie, a diviner (maji children come into their power as they mature and she was too young when magic disappeared) who watched her mother die at the hands of the king's men. Diviners are exposed by their white hair, and treated as, and literally called "maggots." She is strong, but still a child, with her view of the world clearly delineated by her village boundaries. It is only after she is sent on the run and tasked with returning magic to Orisha, that she begins to think about the world outside herself and her village. She is aided in her quest by her brother, Tzain, and by Inan's sister, the Princess Amari. Amari has left the palace after her father uses her best friend as an experiment in magic.

The world-building here is extraordinary, without being expository. Nothing slows the trajectory of the plot as it builds to a fever pitch. Adeyemi uses flashbacks to good effect to explain anything that can't easily be shown to the reader. Heartbreaking at times, the story, through Zelie's growth from someone who wants to be a big fish in a small pond and doesn't consider the consequence of her action, to someone who realizes how small she really is, yet how important her decisions can be, is beautiful and exciting to read. I almost wish I hadn't read it until the next one in the trilogy was out, so I wouldn't have to wait!

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

Oct 07, 2018

C_02 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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

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.


Add a Quote

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.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at GCPL

To Top