Children of Blood and Bone by Toni Adeyemi

Photo by Candace Woodbury

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 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 leopanaires 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.”


The world of Children of Blood and Bone that Tomi built is nothing like what I expected, it turned out to be a pleasant surprise. An epic tale of history and magic, of “a princess and a warrior”, a story that from the very first page, intrigued me. The world building in this fantasy tale was fantastic and one of my favorite parts of this book. 

I originally became drawn to Tomi’s story after hearing her speak about her book at Book Con. What made me decide to grab a copy? It was her mention of the Orisha’s and African Diaspora that she used as a basis for the magic and the gods in her story.

My studies of African Religions is one of my favorite uni courses. For this reason I wanted to read this book and I was looking forward to finding out how she weaved this all together. I wasn’t disappointed, but I would have enjoyed reading this much more if it would have been a more accurate use and telling of Yoruba and the orisha. It is such an amazing history, but it wasn’t something that I got hung up about.

The journey of Zélie and Amari was more than a tale of fantasy and magic; it was their journey to restore magic and save their people. Between the pages of this book was something more, something real, prejudice, pain, and loss that is all to real in our world today. This evil is real and exists beyond the pages of this fable…

A work of fiction that has a meaning, an empowering voice that has the power to affect people and deliver a powerful message.

I hope that the sequel will give us more details in regards to the magic, it’s basis, structure, and history. I felt that was one of the only things missing… more detail and explanation behind the power and magic that exists in this amazing world that has been created. I can’t wait to continue reading as it expands and grows in the following novel. 

I plan to continue to follow Zélie and Amari on their journey to a new Orisha.

Tomi, if I could, I would give you a standing ovation and share with everyone the amazing world you have created full of lionaires, magic, and the internal battles we all struggle with each and every day… but without giving away spoilers… this is my standing ovation and call for an encore!

Bravo Tomi!

A new fan,



Interested in picking up your own copy of Children of Blood and Bone? Visit or IndieBound (affiliate).

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