Children of Blood and Bone is a good start of a series it gets more points for me being a debut author. Though a better title could be Children of Blood and Boners because hormones have characters making some bad decisions. There’s a lot of hype for this book but it for the most part lives up to it. I did like that you can see underlying history like the Apartheid and getting marked “slave”. This book does have one of the coolest covers.
The Plot is: magic used to exist 11 years ago when the king had everyone who possessed magic was killed and the source of magic just stopped. There are people that called diviners that have the ability to do magic, that are defined by having a white streak of hair, like Rouge in the X-men, and these people are called “maggots” and treated horribly and not trusted. Zelie is a diviner who is secretly learning to fight her mother was one who had magic and was executed in front of her when she was young. Her brother Tsizan who is not a diviner trains for a fighting tournament to make money for the family. Their father Baba a fisherman that starting to get dementia, and can’t be relied to make money. The government has raised it’s taxes on families that have diviners in them, so high that Zelie and her family can no longer afford. Zelie and her brother go to the palace to sell fish to get money enough to pay the taxes. At the Place the princess Amelia goes looking for her servant, a diviner, and finds her with her father, the king, and a scroll when the servant gets near the scroll she gets magical powers the servant is killed and the scroll is attempted to be destroyed but reforms. The Princess horrified by the death of her servant and best friend takes the scroll and runs away, and she runs into Zelie who instantly gets powers, Zelie who swindles a fish thinks that the guards are chasing her and ends up escaping with her brother and the princess, but not before the the Inan prince who is the head of the guards is ran into and he gets powers, but still loyal to his father. The scroll gets revealed to be the key to getting magic back permanently all across the land.
What I liked about this book: the magic system is pretty cool. The feminism is really strong. The way the story relates to history. The action is written really well with great stakes. The two Characters of Zelie and Inan are written really well I really liked Inan getting the magic and being at war with himself and his family, Zelie has a great history of why she can’t trust any nobles. I also liked how the author has arguments for their being magic but also has arguments for why the king fears people that possess magic.
What I didn’t Like: Amelia should have been gay, with her not her story mimics Zelies story too closely. The kidnappings there’s like four times that characters get taken and have to get rescued back, it was too much and it kept happening right in a row. hormones don’t mean you throw all caution to the wind the characters have a history of hating each other and then throw it away for hormones too fast. spoiler (there’s having a crush on the bad boy because you know he bad for you, and there’s falling for the guy that killed your people and burned your village) I didn’t like the three first person narratives, I could have done with out Amelia’s perspective.
I give this book 3.5 stars I know I’m in the minority of being blown away by this novel, but just did click with me. I think there’s a lot to expand on and hopefully the author further distances the story of Zelie and Amelia. I want to see more Inan and his struggle about the what he did and didn’t do at the end of the book. I would recommend this book for people that like young adult and magic.