Discover a brilliant new fantasy YA series
Tomi Adeyemi has the entire YA world buzzing about her hotly-anticipated fantasy debut, Children of Blood and Bone, the first book of a trilogy which draws upon African history and mythology.
This story follows Zélie, whose home, Orïsha, used to be full of magic – until an evil king ordered all maji, including Zélie’s mother, to be killed. Now it’s up to Zélie and a rebel princess to rise up against the crown prince and bring magic back, while struggling to keep her own power under control.
Here’s why our booksellers loved this book.
‘ Children of Blood and Bone is brutal, it won’t let you put it down and when you ﬁnally force yourself to close its pages it infects your every thought until you can pick it back up again. I’ve never wanted to be in a book and a part of the journey more than while I was reading Children of Blood and Bone. Toward the end my heart was racing (literally! My smart watch told me I reached 117bpm!) and I cannot recommend it enough.’
– Dani Solomon, assistant manager at Readings Kids
‘The best fantasy novels absorb you into a fully realised and believable magical world, at the same time as they make you reflect deeply on the strengths and shortcomings of the real world. Children of Blood and Bone is one of these novels. The kingdom of Orisha is wrought so vividly, I felt as if I had travelled myself to its forests, cities and temples. The four young characters at the heart of the fast-paced story are morally ensnared, and display complex desires, motivations and actions. Writing magical deeds effectively is a difficult task that Adeyemi managed with such aplomb. I re-read many of my favourite passages featuring the diviner’s skills.
But what made this book really speak to me was the uncompromising look at prejudice, oppression, inequity, tyranny and colourism in the kingdom. There are no easy answers provided, and no character is spared from harsh truths. I loved it – I was absorbed from intriguing start to thrilling finish, and found myself fired up about real world injustice afterwards.’
– Leanne Hall, children’s book specialist
‘I was immediately captivated by this book and by the strong, defiant Zelie who bursts from the pages as she flies in the face of her oppressors and strives to bring magic back to her people. This is a pacy and brutal adventure, with a cliffhanger ending left me gasping and frantically looking up when the next instalment will be published.’
– Kim Gruschow, children’s buyer at Readings St Kilda
‘ Children of Blood and Bone did what only great fantasy novels can do – left my heart aching, my blood pounding, my skin humming with magic long after I turned the final page. Powerfully rendered, relentless and vivid with mythology, I devoured it in three sittings – from the bus, to the couch, to the bed – emerging in the early hours of morning hungover, seared, and spellbound.’
– Georgia Phelan, bookseller at Readings Doncaster
‘Wow! This is thrilling, immersive and dark fantasy of the highest order. Tomi Adeyemi revels in the difficulties and complexities of a kingdom ravaged by war and trauma across generations, never allowing for simple answers. Think Game of Thrones level of politics and intrigue, but set in a world that’s rooted in West African history and mythology. Adeyemi writes about magic with the same thrilling ferocity and rich detail as Laini Taylor but this story is entirely her own, and you won’t forget the four young people who propel the action in a hurry.’
– Bronte Coates, digital content coordinator