Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Children of Blood and Bone
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Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir.

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.


  • ISBN-13: 9781250170972
  • ISBN-10: 1250170974
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
  • Publish Date: March 2018
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.56 pounds
  • Page Count: 544
  • Reading Level: Ages 14-18

A debut that exceeds the hype

BookPage Teen Top Pick, March 2018

Tomi Adeyemi’s hefty fantasy debut—set in a kingdom with traditions and mythology reminiscent of Nigeria and greater West Africa—is an astounding feat of storytelling and world-building.

Seventeen-year-old Zélie is a divîner, one who is born with the ability to perform gods-given magic and easily distinguishable by their white hair. When their magic fully manifests, divîners can become maji—but that was before the cruel king of Orïsha ordered an anti-magic raid that killed Zélie’s mother. Since the raid, magic has disappeared, and divîners have been relegated to second-class citizens.

When hotheaded, impulsive Zélie and her nondivîner brother, Tzain, go to the market in the nearby capital, they end up helping a young woman escape the city guards. The girl turns out to be Amari, princess of Orïsha, who has discovered the reason magic disappeared—and a possible means to get it back. However, next in line for the throne is Amari’s older brother, Inan, who is determined to thwart the trio’s plan. But Inan has a secret of his own: There is a power awakening within him that connects him to the magic he fears and to his enemy, Zélie.

This epic is filled with fascinating landscapes, complex mythology and nuanced characters coping with a world on the brink of massive change. The royals must confront their power, privilege and the horrific deeds of the king, while Zélie and Tzain reckon with the psychological ripples of their mother’s death.

Unmistakably descended from traditional high fantasy, Children of Blood and Bone is perfectly positioned to join the ranks of sprawling speculative worlds for teens, bringing with it a much-needed Afrocentric perspective.


This article was originally published in the March 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.