One of the best things about participating in the Beat the Backlist reading challenge is having the opportunity to read books that have been on my TBR list for years. Over the past several months, I’ve been able to read a lot of great books, including the first two novels in Tomi Adeyemi’s Legacy of Orïsha trilogy…Children of Blood and Bone and Children of Virtue and Vengeance.
Children of Blood and Bone takes place in Orïsha, a land which used to contain magic…until the connection between the maji and the gods was somehow disrupted. The country is ruled by Saran, a king who has taken advantage of magic’s disappearance to persecute and kill those with magical talent (people known as divîners).
When a scroll is found that can give the divîners back their abilities, King Saran is determined to find a way to destroy it. However, before this can be accomplished, it is stolen from the palace by his own daughter, Princess Amari. After escaping the palace, she encounters a young divîner named Zélie, who helps her to flee the city.
Unfortunately, they are pursued by Amari’s brother, Prince Inan, who is determined to retrieve and destroy the scroll for his father.
The scroll allows Zélie to access her own abilities, and also gives her the chance to bring back magic for the rest of her people, and free them from persecution. Along with her brother, Tzain, and Amari, Zélie must travel to an ancient temple in order to perform a ritual during the centennial solstice. If she succeeds, her people will regain their magic. But if she fails, Orïsha will remain without magic forever.
I thoroughly enjoyed Children of Blood and Bone! Not only did the novel have an exciting, fast-paced plot, but it also had amazing characters. The story was told from the perspectives of Zélie, Amari, and Inan, who all play important roles in the events that occur. Being able to see their unique perspectives really added to the urgency of the plot, and helped to develop their characters over the course of the book.
I do think it is important to mention that this novel does contain a few elements that might cause distress for some readers, including: unwanted sexual attention, mentions of past sexual harassment, and torture.
Children of Blood and Bone is a powerful look at the devastating impact of racism on society, and the culture of fear that racism creates for those who experience it first-hand, making this a book that I think needs to be read by as many people as possible.
I enjoyed reading Children of Blood and Bone so much that I decided to dive into reading its sequel as soon as I finished it.
Children of Virtue and Vengeance takes place shortly after the events of the first book in the trilogy. While I can’t say much about the plot of this novel, in order to avoid spoilers, I will tell you that it is a great continuation of the story Adeyemi began telling in the previous book.
Like its predecessor, Children of Virtue and Vengeance is very fast-paced, and includes a lot of action and drama. I really enjoyed having the opportunity to see how the main characters continued to develop over the course of the book, especially because the sequel contains a number of surprising twists and turns.
Whether you are a fan of young adult fiction, or a fan of fantasy novels in general, I highly recommend reading both Children of Blood and Bone and Children of Virtue and Vengeance. They are both fantastic books, and I think you’ll find them very difficult to put down.
According to the Frequently Asked Questions section of the author’s website, the third book in the Legacy of Orïsha trilogy is currently scheduled to come out in 2021. I have not been able to find out its title (or a specific release date), but I’m really looking forward to reading it when it comes out.
If you have a chance to read the first two books in this wonderful trilogy, I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!