Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone is a West African Fantasy about a girl who must fight against the monarchy to bring magic back to her people.
They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.
Now we rise.
Adeyemi is a Nigerian–American writer and creative writing coach based in San Diego, California. After graduating from Harvard University with an honours degree in English literature, she studied West African mythology and culture in Salvador, Brazil.
The movie of her debut novel, Children of Blood and Bone, is in development at Fox 2000/Temple Hill Productions with the incredible Karen Rosenfelt and Wyck Godfrey (Twilight, Maze Runner and The Fault In Our Stars) producing it.
Children of Blood and Bone is out now from Pan Macmillan.
About the book
Zélie remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. When different clans ruled—Burners igniting flames, Tiders beckoning waves, and Zélie’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 Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Only a few people remain with the power to use magic, and they must remain hidden.
Zélie 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, Zélie must learn to harness her powers and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.
Danger lurks in Orïsha, where strange creatures prowl, and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to come to terms with the strength of her magic—and her growing feelings for an enemy.
Read an excerpt:
It’s all I can do not to scream. I dig my nails into the marula oak of my staff and squeeze to keep from fidgeting. Beads of sweat drip down my back, but I can’t tell if it’s from dawn’s early heat or from my heart slamming against my chest. Moon after moon I’ve been passed over.
Today can’t be the same.
I tuck a lock of snow-white hair behind my ear and do my best to sit still. As always, Mama Agba makes the selection grueling, staring at each girl just long enough to make us squirm.
Her brows knit in concentration, deepening the creases in her shaved head. With her dark brown skin and muted kaftan, Mama Agba looks like any other elder in the village. You would never guess a woman her age could be so lethal.
‘Ahem.’ Yemi clears her throat at the front of the ahéré, a not-so-subtle reminder that she’s already passed this test. She smirks at us as she twirls her hand-carved staff, eager to see which one of us she gets to defeat in our graduation match. Most girls cower at the prospect of facing Yemi, but today I crave it. I’ve been practicing and I’m ready.
I know I can win.
Mama Agba’s weathered voice breaks through the silence. A collective exhale echoes from the fifteen other girls who weren’t chosen. The name bounces around the woven walls of the reed ahéré until I realize Mama Agba’s called me.
Mama Agba smacks her lips. ‘I can choose someone else—’
‘No!’ I scramble to my feet and bow quickly. ‘Thank you, Mama. I’m ready.’