Zélie remembers when magic lived in Orïsha. Her mother was a reaper and one day she would be too. Then the Raid happened, and her entire world ended. Under the orders of ruthless king, maji were rounded up and killed in an attempt to eradicate magic forever. In the killings, Zélie lost her mother, and hope for the future.
With the discovery of some magic artifacts, and the help of the rouge princess, Amari, Zélie now has an opportunity to bring magic back for good and save her people. She just has to outrun the crown prince, who is hiding a secret of his own.
Once I picked this book up, I honestly couldn’t put it down. So I had a few late nights, fighting sleep just to stay up a bit later and read some more. The story itself is steeped in African culture. While still being a fantasy series, it has a powerful message that hits home especially today. The book explores the cruelty of racism and how it can divide a country. Fantasy novels often explore themes of oppression and overthrowing a tyrant, but the way Adeyemi shows the violence and terror feels different. The novel never feels preachy in its message.
The novel is fairly straightforward journey and fast paced, which is probably why I had a couple late nights reading. It would be hard to find a place to stop, because I just wanted to see what happened next. The ending was my absolute favorite part. Children of Blood and Bone ends at the height of its climax! There is always some kind of wrap up chapter at the end of fantasy books even if there is another book coming in the series, but with this novel there were so many questions I had about what had happened. I am so excited to read the next book in the series, and to see what happens. Seriously, go read this book!
Ninth House introduces us to the mysterious and exclusive world of Yale’s secret societies. Galaxy “Alex” Stern is our eyes and ears into this world. She is an unlikely member of Yale’s new freshman class. A high school drop out from Los Angeles who has a history of drug abuse, she is the sole survivor of a grisly homicide. Through this incident she is given a once in a lifetime opportunity to attend Yale free of charge, but there’s a catch…See Alex has always been able to see “grays (ghosts)” all her life, she hates this ability because it has ruined her life. Though this ability makes her a valuable commodity to Lethe, an exclusive group established to keep the secret societies in line.
For me what originally interested me about this book was the author Leigh Bardugo. I had loved her previous series, and couldn’t put any of those books down once I picked them up. It definitely took me a little bit for this book to really get going and honestly even understand and place all the societies and what they specialized in at first. Bardugo makes the decision to jump around in the timeline when first introducing everything, which definitely kept me turning the page even when I was struggling to connect.
Some spoilers below…
I really ended up loving the characters Alex and Dawes. I enjoyed their odd couple relationship. They would push each other and bring out each others strengths. I did struggle to form an attachment to Darlington, so the urgency to get him back and why everyone loved him never really connected with me. I can understand why some of the characters would want him back. He would have more answers and solutions to what was happening with Tara’s murder, but for me there was just no attachment and no sadness when the new moon ritual didn’t work.
I think Alex is the reason this book works so well. Because she is a fish out of water character, we understand her frustration and confusion at all these secret societies. I can empathize with her wanting to find a place of her own, with finally finding people who understand.
Overall I enjoyed this book, and I’m excited to see where the series goes.