Review: Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha #1) by Tomi Adeyemi

Title: Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha #1)

Author: Tomi Adeyemi

Pub. Date: March 6th, 2018

Genre: Sci-Fi Fantasy

Publisher: Macmillan/FierceReads

Pages: 525

Format: Physical ARC

*Maji Clan Quiz at the end of my review*

*HUGE thanks to Macmillan/FierceReads and Tomi Adeyemi for the early review copy in exchange for my honest opinion


Its been 2 weeks since I finished what I consider the BEST Fantasy book I have EVER read for a multitude of reasons. I cried some real tears reading this beautiful book, within its pages I found familiar names that have always carried weight in my childhood & made this reading experience all the more special. Now let’s see if I can do this justice & get you to read this EPIC masterpiece…

Our story is set in the land of Orïsha where King Saran has worked very hard to wipe out the magic inherited by the Maji. Maji once walked the land in abundance, they were said to have received their magic aka Ashe from Sky Mother. Healers, Earth shakers, Mind connectors, Tiders with the power to control the waters,  and  Reapers who can raise the dead are just some of the few types of Maji to have walked the lands. This all changed when a group of rebel Maji killed the King’s first family. In a bloody event known as “The Raid” all Maji above the age of 13 were ordered to be killed by the King. Our MC Zélie’s mother, a Reaper is dragged out in chains and hung in the village for all to see. The connection between the Maji & Sky Mother is broken and efforts are put in place to destroy the magical pieces with the power to restore the Maji’s Ashe.

Young Zélie remembers this day as if it were yesterday well into her young adult years & it is the fuel that propels her throughout this story. In stressing the importance of eliminating the threat Maji pose & by instilling fear, the King has managed to keep Maji in poverty. Expected to pay a higher tax or face labor camps that are the equivalent of slavery, Maji’s are opressed & forced to come up with ways to survive on a daily basis. It is during one of Zélie’s trips to the market that her whole world gets turned upside down.

We are introduced to King Saran, the Queen, Prince/heir Inan, and Princess Amari. The Kings efforts to keep his second family away from all Maji are nixed once Princess Amari realizes her fathers cruel & murderous ways. Running away from the palace with a highly valuable scroll, Princes Amari crosses paths with Zélie placing them both on the path to try & restore magic to all Maji…


Children Of Blood and Bone features a large cast of strong characters down to the supporting cast. Below I’ve listed the main players in this story however, there is a wealth of supporting characters contributing greatly to our main MC’s journey. There are NO weak links, these characters come to life on the page with vivid descriptions & personalities. Told in multiple POV, each chapter is broken down from Zélie, Amari, and Inan’s perspectives. We get to know their most intimate thoughts & see them battle their inner demons. These characters come scarred, they hold a lot of pain & their journey is hard & filled with loss. The entire cast are POC (people of color) & through their eyes Adeyemi tackles some of the toughest topics such as oppression, colorism, and slavery. These characters aren’t the ones to quickly flee your memory…they’re the type to set up shop in your mind & your heart.

Zélie- Our MC has seen & experienced a plethora of pain since seeing her mother killed at the age of six. Zélie really has no filter & has no tolerance for the injustice the King’s guards often bring to the village people. She knows her outspoken nature can potentially place her family at risk for violence however, the need & compulsion to speak up seems almost involuntary. She is a warrior in every sense of the word, her passion & love for a magic she has only slightly ever felt is stronger than her life-force. Zélie remembered a time when Maji had their Ashe and used it to help those in need. Her journey however, will make her confront all of the pain she carries. With Zélie we get raw power & a love for her people and the deities they are descended from.

Tzain- A better bigger brother could NOT exist! Tzain is described as being physically strong and handsome but it’s his fierce need to protect his sister and their father that is his driving force. I LOVE sibling relationships in books but when they’re as close as these two are, my heart fully embraces them. Adeyemi doesn’t just show us the good, she gives us the fighting as well & the genuine love between two siblings who are as close as they are.

Amari- at first glance she may seem like the pampered princess who hasn’t experienced any pain however Amari will prove readers wrong. Perhaps one of my most fave characters in this book because of her personal growth, Amari goes through an awakening of sorts. The blinds are lifted early on & the decision she makes really speak to the type of person she really is. By the end of the book you fully understand why it was necessary for this character to be a part of the journey. I’m super curious & excited to see Amari in the sequel.

Inan- I had such a love/hate relationship with Prince Inan…moments where I felt I understood his mentality & others where I wanted to talk some sense into him. I honestly found him to be quite unpredictable & that scared me with regards to him being a love interest for Zélie. I wanted so badly to love this character but ultimately I couldn’t trust him & I can’t really say his intentions were ever malicious. His love for the people in the kingdom & his inbred fear of the Maji is so much greater than the love he has for anyone. This is a Prince who wants nothing more than to earn the respect of his father the King. He’s constantly at war with himself & the irony that strikes him is just ingenious!

Honorable Mentions-Mama Agba is introduced early on in the story as the owner to a seamstress shop which really serves as a front for a training school for young Maji. The wisdom this character imparts on Zélie in regards to knowing when to fight back & when to speak up struck a chord…for those  who are familiar with the Black Lives Matter movement, there will be many scenes that align with our real world. It was hard seeing Zélie try to fight down the urge to not speak out of line or face brutality from the King’s guards. Zélie’s father although he doesn’t get much page time made me shed my first tears on what would be a tear filled reading experience. A broken spirit who breaks through his grief to encourage Zélie to fight back!

Oya- Zelie’s Sister Deity-Image obtained from Pinterest/Flickr

The Deities- Zélies sister Deity is Oya who was rewarded with mastery over life however, when shared with her worshippers it transformed to power over death & this is how Reapers came about. Throughout the book we learn of the different Deities and their descendant clans. Although we never hear them speak, they are a driving force in the story. Zélie has a deep devotion to Oya who she feels deeply connected to & so we see her more than any of the others.

I can honestly go on for days talking about the richness in culture and religion Children of Blood and Bone brought to the table & I still wouldn’t scratch the surface. Steeped in African culture & mythology, COBAB is not your typical YA Fantasy…it takes Fantasy to a whole other level! & is everything I could’ve ever asked for. From the Yoruba language to the West African foods, and beautifully vibrant Dashiki’s we get so much more from this reading experience because it’s influenced by a culture that already exists. Some of the obstacles our MC’s face in COBAB are real life issues encountered on a daily basis by young black men & women in the real world.   On the topic of the spiritual deities we get a dose of religious diversity, in COBAB the land is called Orisha however in Nigeria, South America, and the Caribbeans Orisha’s are the actual spiritual deities themselves. In these pages I found names of Orishas I grew up learning about all throughout my childhood. Nothing could’ve prepared me for the roller-coaster ride of emotions I felt while reading this book. It is really my belief that Children of Blood and Bone has set a new standard for YA Fantasy & I am  HERE for it!

Take the Quiz & find out which Maji Clan you’re in, are you a Tamer like I am?

You’re a Tamer, the maji of animals. Compassionate, intuitive, and gentle, you have the power to communicate with and manipulate animals.
As a Tamer, you have a special connection to parts of the human experience that others don’t always engage with. Though your ability to perceive other things can sometimes put you out of touch with reality, your kind nature awakens the compassion in others.
CLAN: Eranko Clan
GOD: Oxosi
AURA: Pink


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Review: You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins

Title: You Bring the Distant Near

Author: Mitali Perkins

Pub. Date: October 31st, 2017

Genre: YA Contemporary, #Ownvoices

Publisher:  Macmillan Children’s Publishing

Pages: 320

Format: eGalley/Netgalley


Five girls. Three generations. One great American love story. You Bring the Distant Near explores sisterhood, first loves, friendship, and the inheritance of culture–for better or worse. Ranee, worried that her children are losing their Indian culture; Sonia, wrapped up in a forbidden biracial love affair; Tara, seeking the limelight to hide her true self; Shanti, desperately trying to make peace in the family; Anna, fighting to preserve Bengal tigers and her Bengali identity–award-winning author Mitali Perkins weaves together a sweeping story of five women at once intimately relatable and yet entirely new.

You Bring the Distant Near truly felt like a gift I was unwrapping Christmas morning. It’s not often that we get stories based on Indian culture yet here we have a multi-generational book spanning the lives of 5 women in the Das family. We first meet Ranee & Rajeev Das, the parents of Tara & Sonia Das as they move from Bangladesh to London & finally Queens, New York. Rajeev Das is a hard worker & provider for his family, his wife Ranee wants them to own a beautiful home in a safe neighborhood. The Das family has very humble beginnings in a apartment in Queens that is located in a predominantly black neighborhood. We see Ranee struggle with her own prejudices & how her fear leads her to restrict Tara & Sonia. We also get an inside look on her marriage & the disconnect that often leads to arguments in the Das home. Underneath it all however, is a whole lot of love. This book truly has it all! the immigrant experience, marital woes, intersectional issues, colorism, feminism, Islamophobia, complex characters and so much more. I couldn’t put this book down other than to shed some tears every now & again. Seeing three generations of women try to retain some of their culture while also trying to fit in to their new lives was rewarding for me as a reader. Having had some of my own family immigrate from Salvador to the United States, I knew assimilating would be difficult but never really thought about how difficult it must be to try & retain some of their own culture. I found myself rooting for these characters to win their battles & stand up for what they believe is right. This isn’t by any means a fast paced book, it is however a heart warming read that gives you a inside look to a culture & people not often seen in YA books.

The author kindly included a family tree at the very beginning of the book but I found I didn’t really need it since the characters were very well fleshed out. 5 women’s stories spanning over 3 generations, all so very different from each other but the one thing they have in common is their wish to hold onto some if not all of their roots. I LOVED all of these characters, they’re the type to stick with you way after you’ve read the last page.

Rajeev & Ranee Das- mother & father to Tara & Sonia are struggling to meet eye to eye when it comes to settling down on a place to live. Rajeev is sweet & the definition of a proud & doting father. He has a ton of love for his daughters & I found myself crying the most whenever he interacted with Tara & Sonia because this is the closest a character has come to resembling my own father & how he cared for my sister & I. Rajeev is incredibly supportive of his daughters & encourages them to follow their dreams. Our matriarch Ranee Das on the other hand is the law in her home & perhaps has the most character growth in this book. She has a ton of prejudices to sort through & we get to see her struggle with her marriage, daughters, grand daughters and her own internal struggle to both let go & hold on to some cultural beliefs. I loved seeing how realistic this marriage was portrayed & the underlying love that shines through.

Tara & Sonia Das- Since the majority of this book is told in alternating POV’s between these two sisters, I felt that I really got to know them. Tara aka Star is in love with acting, drama, entertaining, and fashion. She loves studying different icons on tv & imitating their style. This is something she sees as a useful tool whenever she has moved to a new country & started a new school. Tara is also the sister everyone considers the beauty who is sure to find a suitable husband. Sonia aka Sunny is a reader & writer, she loves retreating into her own world where she can journal & read non-fiction. The move to NYC places her on course to becoming a feminist & activist. I enjoyed seeing the contrast between Sunny, Star, and Ranee. Sunny is very vocal in squashing any prejudices coming from her mother which is why they clash the most. Sunny is also of darker complexion & we see the affects of colorism both in her home & with other Indian neighbors.

Chantal & Anna-  the daughters of Sunny & Star, the latter part of YBTDN is told in alternating POV chapters with these cousins. We still get to see their parents but the focus shifts to their high school lives. Chantal is Sunny’s daughter & she is trying to find peace between her two grandmothers. Chantal is bi-racial & we get to see the very realistic familial battles that take place when two very different cultures come together through marriage. Anna is Star’s daughter & she for the most part has been raised in Mumbai. Her parents do travel with her to & from NYC to Mumbai but she has no interest in American life. We see her get uprooted & the difficulties she faces when trying to hold on to her roots.

Grandma Rose- doesn’t come into the picture til’ we meet Chantal later in the book but I seriously LOVED seeing her duke it out with Ranee for title of best grandma. Grandma Rose is black & is very involved in Chantal’s life. I loved seeing her pride & confidence in Chantal, she really is her #1 fan. Some of my favorite scenes were those between Rose & Ranee, these two had me smiling & shaking my head.

Rich in culture & family dynamics, You Bring the Distant Near is easily a top contender for my top 10 favorite books of this year. For any bookworms looking for #ownvoices reads, I highly recommend picking this book up. In just 320 pages we get wonderful character development & a ton of tough topics thrown in the mix making this one hell of a journey. I felt a range of emotions seeing this family try to set down new roots in a strange land while also learning to adapt when life throws you a curve-ball. I also found myself wanting more story once I finished reading & perhaps that’s due to how well it was structured. The alternating POV chapters between Sunny & Star and later their daughters Chantal & Anna really allow you to form attachments. This bookworm would love to see more of the Das family & their growing pains. I am so happy to have read YBTDN & wish only to see more from this author in the very near future *fingers crossed*

*HUGE thanks to Macmillan Children’s Publishing, Netgalley, and Mitali Perkins for the eGalley copy of You Bring the Distant Near in exchange for an honest review.

Happy Monday Bookworms! hope you all had a wonderful weekend & managed to squeeze in some good books. You Bring the Distant Near is hands down a highlight in my October reading. Have any of you lovely bookworms had the chance to read YBTDN? or plan on adding it to your TBR? Sound off in the comments down below 😉


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