Not gonna lie – you have definitely noticed what my literary tastes revolve around… or at least the bookish buffet for this year. Fantasy, mystery, some non-fiction and a thriller and a story told in letters – and there are two left, one more thriller and another fantasy. Buckle up, buttercups, because we’re off to explore a land where magic rules… or at least has ruled before.
Our main character, Zélie Adebola, is from Orïsha – a land to whose people the gods have lent magic… until ten years ago. Ten years ago, the Raid happened, and magic disappeared. Nearly all the maji in Orïsha were slaughtered, and the rest were forced into obedience. One of the maji who lost their lives was Zélie’s mother, and Zélie, like the rest of the maji, is having to fight for survival and live in fear of sharing her mother’s fate.
The fight for survival is what leads Zélie and her brother to the market in Lagos in an attempt to sell a rare fish and use the money for a ransom put on Zélie’s head. What happens at the market, though, is entirely different. Zélie helps a girl seeking refuge from the King’s guards, getting herself into a wild adventure… and, not soon afterwards, it turns out that the girl is nobody but Amari, the royal princess, who has fled from the castle with a scroll that can restore magic.
As you would expect, from alliance, the princess and Zélie’s relationship slowly blossoms into a friendship. Things between Zélie and the crown prince Inan, Amari’s brother, who is after them, do not stay the same throughout the story, either. Inan longs to prove himself to his father and to lead his sister the right way.
I won’t spoil much… but you will definitely not expect what happens between him and Zélie – but you will definitely love it!
Magic. A test of wit, of courage and of trust – in yourself and in others. Faith. Longing. A tale of fantasy, weaved into reality. Violence and oppression on one side, clashing with the inner peace and blossoming love that stand on the other. And, like the bow wrap on top of a gift box, enchanting metaphors and easy descriptions that take you by the had and lead you directly into Zélie’s world.
This is “Children of Blood and Bone”.