Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone

Written by Tomi Adeyemi
Part of the Legacy of Orisha Series

YA readers   Debuts of the Month   13+ readers   
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March 2018 Debut of the Month | In a Nutshell: Thrilling fantasy and West African folklore

An exceptional fantastical debut that weaves dark magic, powerful female protagonists and West African folklore into a richly rewarding novel, the first in what promises to be a truly epic trilogy if this opening installment is anything to go by.

There was a time when Orisha was alive with magic but, under the command of a new king, those with magical gifts are now targets, and the fabulously rebellious, outspoken Zélie has been orphaned. Her heritage is of the Reaper Clan. Her mother was able to summon souls, and now Zélie, who has retained her magic, seeks justice for her mother’s death. Fuelled by thoughts of “the way her corpse hung from that tree” and “the king who took her away”, she’s determined to rise, and nothing will stop her. And so Zélie must seize control of her powers and venture forth to fight the crown prince.

Throughout, the world-building and evocation of clan magic is astoundingly detailed, conjured with a vibrant visual sensibility, and Zélie is a one-of-a-kind young woman whose journey exhilarates, astounds and inspires. ~ Joanne Owen

A message from the author:

Dear Reader,

There are so many things I want to say to you, but the most important is simple: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Children of Blood and Bone is the book of my heart in every way, shape, and form. It holds the magic and adventure that have made me an avid lover of fantasy and storytelling my whole life. It has the
diverse cast I have always wanted to see in my favorite stories, but never got to. But above everything else, this story has my heart because it’s given me something to hold onto during very dark chapters in my life. This book was written during a time where I kept turning on the news and seeing stories of unarmed black men and children being shot by the police. I felt afraid and angry and paralyzed and helpless, but this book was the one thing that helped me feel like I could do something about it. I told myself that if just one person could read it and have their hearts or minds changed, then I would’ve done something meaningful against a problem that often feels so much bigger than myself. And now this book exists and you are reading it.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. There are so many things I hope for this story, but I there want to end this letter with all the things I hope it gives you. I hope Children of Blood and Bone brings you an epic fantasy adventure like nothing you’ve ever experienced. I hope you see a glimpse into my Nigerian heritage and the beautiful cultures and people Africa holds. I hope this story makes you want to pick up a staff and ride on the back of a giant lionnaire. I hope if you’ve never seen yourself as the hero of a story, this book hanges that. I hope this novel makes you think and feel. I hope it propels you to help those who suffer the fate of the maji in the world around us.But most of all, I hope this book is only the beginning of our adventures together.

Sending my love and appreciation, Tomi.

Win a Chaos Walking Goody Bag!

To mark the 10th anniversary of The Knife of Never Letting Go, the first of the awesome YA trilogy that launched Patrick Ness, we are giving away FIVE fantastic Chaos Walking goody bags. Each prizes includes a special collector's edition of The Knife of Never Letting Go, a t'shirt and a print!

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The draw closes on 9 April 2018. The winners will be notified by 23 April 2018.

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Enter prize draw Draw closes: 09/04/2018


Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Magic can burn, turn tides, light the darkness and bring back the dead. But magic is gone. So one girl must bring it back in the first in a gripping fantasy trilogy.

The most anticipated fantasy of the year, soon to be a major motion picture.

They killed my mother. They took our magic. They tried to bury us. NOW WE RISE.

Zelie remembers when the soil of Orisha hummed with magic. When different clans ruled - Burners igniting flames, Tiders beckoning waves, and Zelie's Reaper mother summoning forth souls. But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, anyone with powers was targeted and killed, leaving Zelie without a mother and her people without hope. Only a few people remain with the power to use magic, and they must remain hidden. Zelie is one such person. Now she has a chance to bring back magic to her people and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zelie must learn to harness her powers and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good. Danger lurks in Orisha, where strange creatures prowl, and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zelie herself as she struggles to come to terms with the strength of her magic - and her growing feelings for an enemy.


A hugely enjoyable escapist story that makes you re-examine the world around you. It is a miraculous achievement. -- Kiran Millwood Hargrave * Guardian * This year's big fantasy breakout... [an] epic story of family, love and magic. * Stylist * All our bookselling instincts tell us Children of Blood and Bone is a book apart. Posted to YouTube, author Tomi Adeyemi's surge of tearful joy at seeing her debut in the flesh instantly went viral, lending something very real and important to the long journey of her novel finally finding print. This is a tale brimming with courage, injustice, magic and star-crossed love, as young Zelie comes to terms with the extraordinary gifts she has been forced to keep hidden and the revenge that burns in her heart. With sweeping, prescient themes of race and heritage, Children of Blood and Bone is poised to be the breakout YA hit of 2018. * Waterstones Loves * The Harry Potter I should have had. * MostlyLit Podcast * Epic in scale and size... it's a whirlwind read thanks to immersive world-building, powerful characters and ferocious plotting. Themes of prejudice and oppression are particularly poignant in the current political climate. * The Bookseller * In one of the most highly-anticipated fantasy releases this year, Tomi Adeyemi spins a luxe tale of magic, adventure, and forbidden love. Zelie lives in a world once ruled by magic, but mass-murders decreed by a new king have all but stamped her people out, and she has a narrow window to bring the magic of her lands back to life. Fans of Leigh Bardugo and Game of Thrones will gobble this up. * BuzzFeed * This highly anticipated fantasy novel earned its 23-year-old Nigerian-American author a seven-figure deal. The first instalment of a three-part young adult trilogy, it draws on African myth and folklore and was reportedly inspired by the Black Lives Matters movement. The film rights were snapped up before the book was even published. * Irish Independent * Tomi Adeyemi has created a lush, vibrant world, full of legend and lore, more than enough to sate even the most ravenous fantasy fan. She deserves special commendation for steering away from the creatures so often shoe-horned into fantasy novels, and instead creating her own magical beasts, who fit seamlessly into the narrative. There are swoony moments, shocking moments, terrifying moments, and heartbreaking moments. It's a masterful debut, and one many readers will adore. * Melinda Salisbury, author Sin Eater's Daughter * Epic fantasy YA debut of magic and war. * Guardian * Infused with rich mythology of west Africa, Adeyemi's lush world-building and consummate plotting breathes new life into a YA fantasy epic. Themes of oppression and racism resonate all too strongly in today's political climate. The cliffhanger ending may leave some readers reeling but, rest assured, this is first in a trilogy. * Observer * Black Girl Magic indeed! It's no surprise that this epic trilogy opener has already been optioned for film. Full of cinematic action sequences (the most memorable of them set underwater and employing an army of the dead) and creatures worthy of Star Wars (horse-sized 'lionaires

, it storms the boundaries of imagination. Yet it also confronts the conscience. Adeyemi's brutally depicted war between the noble, lighter-skinned kosidans, and the enslaved, darker-skinned majis poses thought-provoking questions about race, class, and authority that hold up a warning mirror to our sharply divided society. * The New York Times *

About the Author

Tomi Adeyemi

Tomi Adeyemi is a Nigerian-American writer and creative writing coach based in San Diego, California. After graduating Harvard University with an honours degree in English literature, she studied West African mythology and culture in Salvador, Brazil. When not writing novels or watching Scandal, Tomi teaches and blogs about creative writing on her website, named one of the 101 best websites for writers by Writer's Digest.

Children of Blood and Bone is her debut novel.

Author photo © Elena Seibert

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Book Info


544 pages
Interest Age: From 12 to 17 years


Tomi Adeyemi
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Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan

Publication date

8th March 2018




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