Review: Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi

SYNOPSIS (via Goodreads):

“After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they could’ve imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too.

Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari’s right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy’s wrath.

With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart.”

REVIEW:

I loved the first book in this series, Children of Blood and Bone, so I was very excited to see this at my library. That being said this book had a lot of ups and downs for me. When I was reading Children of Blood and Bone, I couldn’t put the book down because I was so sucked in, but with Children of Virtue and Vengeance I had to put the book down because I was so frustrated with some of the characters.

I was regularly frustrated with Amari and Inan. Inan is so completely spineless and can’t have a single thought of his own. He had grand plans in the first book and you understand his misguided prejudices. You would think after what happened to him in the first book, he wouldn’t be so susceptible to being pushed around by his mother. Amari, constantly insisting her way is right without any understanding of the situation at hand was frustrating to read over and over. It wasn’t until people died, that she was like “oh I really need to listen to other people”. Even though their actions frustrated the heck out of me, I don’t think they are necessarily a bad thing. Amari and Inan are outsiders trying to solve a problem that they truly don’t understand. They are not apart of the maji culture, and though their intentions are seemingly for the best, they don’t listen. This leads to their downfall.

Zélie’s journey is really incredible. This book handles her grief in a really believable way. She has become this savior to the maji, but magic has also killed everyone she’s loved. She really struggles with the weight of her new role in this revolution. There isn’t a simple, easy fix to her problems.

One big problem I had with this book was the forced romances. None of the romantic relationships felt genuine in this novel. They didn’t add anything to the story. I also wish we weren’t left with such a cliffhanger at the end of this novel. While I loved the cliffhanger at the end of the first book, this cliffhanger just felt like someone forgot to finish the chapter which was frustrating.

Overall, I have some mixed feelings about this novel. I think the pacing was a little too fast at times, sometimes I wished that we could let some actions breathe before we moved onto the next big plan. I really loved the handling of Zélie’s grief and trauma. I’m still interested to see where the next book in the series goes.

RATING 3.5/5

Review: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

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.

REVIEW

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!

Here’s my review for the next book in the series, Children of Virtue and Vengeance!

RATING: 9/10