Release Date: 6th March 2018
Genre: Fantasy & Young Adult
Read: July 2019
Goodreads Page – LINK
The most anticipated fantasy of the year, soon to be a major motion picture
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 targeted and 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.
I am going to start off with saying that I love that this book is highly praised and loved over the world, I’m glad that a minority get to see themselves on a book cover and I know this book means a lot to people. Sadly, however, this book was just not my cup of tea. It started off as a 4 star read as I was really enjoying the first half, yet, when the second half hit I felt like the pacing slowed down and I was slowly losing interest, to the point when I got to the last 20% (I was reading this on my kindle) I struggled with finishing it off. I know, this review is going to be filled with unpopular opinions but hopefully, you guys don’t hate me or anything…
I thought I would first mention what I really enjoyed about this novel. First of all, I loved that we got to read about a fantasy world like no other, I believe this book is inspired by West-African folklore and I love that as I have never before read anything like it which was very refreshing. As I mentioned before the first half of the novel was a solid 4 star read as I found myself flying through it, the story was engaging and I really liked what was happening. The chapters are quite short so that definitely helped me read this book really quickly, which is always a plus. Also, my favourite perspective I got to read from is Amari, she underwent amazing character growth, like I was mind-blown! She is the princess if you are wondering and I just loved everything she pretty much said, like this quote for instance:
“You raised me to fight monsters,” I mutter, stepping forward with my sword. “It took far too long to understand that the real monster was you.”
When I read that I was shocked, wow Amari, I love you girl!
At first, I also really enjoyed Inan’s perspective as I thought his character ARC was going to be interesting. You know, he is a prince who has both internal and external conflicts he has to work through like placing Orisha’s needs before his own. However, after I got into the second half of the book and his and Zelie’s stories intertwine even more I started to dislike him. I just was really confused sometimes with what he was feeling, that’s all.
Another character that I really loved is Tzain and what an amazing brother this guy is! Literally, Zelie makes some of the most stupid decisions I have ever seen a character make in a fantasy novel (I just feel like she is very irrational) and she places so many people (especially her brother) in danger and this guy still believes in her! WOW! Sometimes I wished we got to follow his perspective as I think that would have definitely made me enjoy this book even more.
Now onto the things I disliked, sadly there are a few. So I wish we got to see more of the court, I feel like many of the places we got to witness at the beginning of the story (with the secondary characters included) were just abandoned and were basically never mentioned or briefly mentioned later on in the story. I personally found the court very interesting and as we got to follow both the prince and princess’s perspectives I thought we would get to see more of it, but that didn’t happen. I was also very intrigued by Amari’s mother, so I kind of wished we got to see more of her. As I mentioned before I really disliked Inan as the story progressed, I feel like his character just didn’t do anything for me. I also disliked another perspective which was Zelie’s. I have no idea how other people can see her undergoing character growth as to me, she was the same Zelie that we met at the start of the novel – irrational, selfish and making stupid decisions. I just really didn’t like her!
The second half of the novel was such a letdown and I feel like it’s due to the fact that I didn’t like the romance. Oh my god, where did it actually come from? It’s an enemy to lovers trope, which I’m fine with, but you have no idea how unnatural this one felt, literally they hate each other one minute and want to kill each other and then the next they just love each other. I just don’t understand it at all. There is another let’s call it a secondary romance that I was fine with at first, it felt like it progressed naturally throughout the story but then I felt like it progressed further at one point just because of another character making stupid decisions, which felt unhealthy to me.
Also, I wasn’t surprised at some of the things that happened at the end of the novel, I have no idea why Zelie would choose to do what she did, which was selfish, when from the very first page we knew (everyone knew) the king was ruthless and would kill anyone that stands in his way. I’m really not surprised some characters were mad at Zelie throughout the story as I was pretty much mad at her all the time.
Overall, I just don’t feel a connection to the story, like emotionally I just feel okay towards the book. Am I excited for the movie? Heck yeah! I can’t wait to see Tzain and Amari and some other characters on the screen. But I just personally would have preferred Amari to be the ‘chosen one’.
I’m not sure if I’m going to be picking up the next book, maybe… We will just have to wait and see if I’m in the mood to read it. This book really wasn’t the worst thing I’ve read but I was just disappointed because of the hype. Plus not liking two perspectives out of the three we follow will also make me dislike the book.
Hope you enjoyed this review! Have you read Children of Blood and Bone? How do you feel about it? Did you like it?
See you in my next post 🙂
Natalia aka Bookish Vegan
→ My Social Media:
☆ Bookstagram – https://www.instagram.com/bookishvegan_
☆Twitter – https://twitter.com/boookishvegan
☆ Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/35621854-natalia
☆ Blog – http://www.boookishvegan.com
☆ Email – email@example.com