This has to be one of the most hyped books around at the time of writing this. I’ve heard so many great things about it. I don’t know if I perhaps got my hopes too high, but I couldn’t help but noticing the plot flaws amongst the good stuff. Keep reading for my review on Children of Blood and Bone.
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company | Date: 2018 | Genre: Fantasy
Plot: 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.
Children of Blood and Bone Review
I deliberately left reading Children of Blood and Bone until the hype had died down. But I have to admit, I was disappointed.
The overall premise was good. There were some things that didn’t work though.
I enjoyed the backstory to the magic and their quest to bring it back, and the way everyone’s powers were different. But I never fully understood the rules of this magic. People seemed to be able to do whatever they needed to, regardless of how long they had their powers. What are the limitations? What are the rules? The magic lacked boundaries, which undermined it.
I had issues with the characters. Namely, I didn’t connect to any of them.
Zelie is introduced as strong and defiant and I had high hopes for her. She then spends the majority of the book terrified, or adamant she’s right. She also has a spiteful streak: she is mean to Amari in a typical teenage girl way. I understood her initial hostility, but it dragged on and felt forced. She also intends to call another character by a derogatory name she herself hates, and that prickled me.
Inan is weak. Confronted with something he hates; his only thought is to kill. Understandable. He loathes Zelie – until he gets a glimpse in her head and suddenly loves her. Their love was implausible (he saw in her mind, but why did she suddenly change her mind?) but it would have worked for development. However, he reverts back into a shell, undermining everything he’d overcome. It felt so pointless.
I’ve watched you do the impossible since the first day we met. You’ve taken on the world for the people you love. I know you can do the same to save the maji.
I liked Tzain for the most part. He doesn’t narrate though, so it was harder to connect to him compared to the others.
Amari was my favourite. Although she is weak to start with, and it felt there were development opportunities missed, she does genuinely grow as a character and is determined to set things right. She has a hidden strength and you see that emerge as the plot unfolds. Unlike the others, she doesn’t peak too early.
I also had problems with parts of the plots: they didn’t make sense. For example, one character is suddenly brought back at the end as a bargaining chip. But it’s not logical how he got there. All the characters are heading towards the one place they’ve spent the entire book getting to, but suddenly, one has time to nip back, pick up someone and get back in the space of a few hours? It threw me off!
The pacing was steady for the most part, until suddenly it skidded to a halt, threw in a few chapters of everyone falling in love, and then starting again with this new development. It felt as if the characters hadn’t reached where they needed to emotionally, so everything else had to stop. It felt jolted and forced to me.
It was a shame: this book had some strong elements and I wanted to enjoy it. But there were too many things that didn’t ring true for me.
How about for you? Did it live up to expectations for you?
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