Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

★☆☆☆☆ (1/5)

Admittedly, this book started off with an interesting premise. But gradually it became monotonous, so much so that it is now seeped with over-done, tawdry romance, predictable plot outcomes and nauseating character arches. This is what staple young adult fantasies are made of.

Having read the infinitely superior and masterfully crafted book “An Ember in the Ashes” by Sabaa Tahir, Children of Blood and Bone wanes in comparison. The world building is extractive in the latter, by which I mean that setting only surfaces once the plot demands it. By the same measure, various settings come into play only when the character’s story dictates so.

Perhaps it’s this dullness that prompted me to take a long break from the book. I wasn’t able to finish it in one sitting. When I started re-reading it, albeit begrudgingly, the pace did not pick up. And the predictable romantic links became stale soon. I doubt I’ll be picking up the second installment of this series.

A selection of my favourite passages from the book

  • “Zélie asked why we are here. It’s a valid question. We often talk of how you must fight, but we never talk about why.”
  • “I teach you to be warriors in the garden so you will never be gardeners in the war. I give you the strength to fight, but you all must learn the strength of restraint.”
  • The copper-skinned girl shakes with a fear so visceral it leaks into my skin.
  • Though I was too young for Mama to teach me the magic of death, I saw it unfold. It came in cold spirits and sharp arrows and twisting shadows, but never in dreams.
  • “You can’t enslave an entire people for the rebellion of a few.”
  • As it fades, I see the truth—in plain sight, yet hidden all along. We are all children of blood and bone. All instruments of vengeance and virtue. This truth holds me close, rocking me like a child in a mother’s arms. It binds me in its love as death swallows me into its grasp.

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