Children of Blood and Bone by Adeyemi, Tomi

Children of Blood and Bone is a 2018 young adult romantic fantasy novel by Nigerian-American novelist Tomi Adeyemi. The book, Adeyemi’s debut novel and the first book in a planned trilogy, follows heroine Zélie Adebola as she attempts to restore magic to the kingdom of Orïsha, following the ruling class kosidáns’ brutal suppression of the class of magic practitioners Zélie belongs to, the maji.

Writing the book over 18 months and 45 drafts, Adeyemi drew inspiration from novels like Harry Potter and An Ember in the Ashes as well as West African mythology and the Yoruba culture and language. The hopelessness she felt at police shootings of black Americans also motivated her to develop the story of Children of Blood and Bone. The book received one of the biggest young adult publishing deals ever, including preemptive sale of film rights to Fox 2000 Pictures. Debuting at number one on The New York Times Best Seller list for young adult books, the novel received mostly positive reviews. Critics wrote about its examination of oppression, racism, and slavery, with the kosidán and maji serving as stand-ins for real-world groups. It is also a coming-of-age story as the characters discover their abilities to help shape the world through their actions.

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