Initially I didn’t want to read this book.
Not because it’s not one of thee most magical books I’ve ever read.
Not because it was 525 pages.
Not because of its name.
I didn’t want to read this book…..well…..because everyone else was reading it.
Super simple. Rather dumb. But I didn’t want everyone ruining the book for me.
This book was the last book that I purchased in store at Barnes and Noble before they close their doors because of COVID-19. I could not have been prepared for the life changing experience that took place between the covers of this book.
This year has been all about personal accountability and this book continued to provide it for me. I began seeing bits and pieces of myself in each of the main characters.
In Zelie, I saw my fears constantly haunting my thoughts and sorrow in my memories. Forgiveness that I owed to myself for not being stronger than I was. I saw my doubts in my ability to lead because of my past. I felt Zelie’s frustration as she struggled with knowing how powerful her gifts were. How draining it was physically when she used them to get her closer to restoring magic in Orisha.
Zelie’s doubt in her strengths reminded me of my own. I still struggle with it sometimes. The imposter syndrome. Other people see and believe in them, but most days for whatever reason, I tend to focus on my weaknesses. Even after bringing magic back (not quite the way she intended), she focused on all fo the things that went wrong. That she failed to accomplish such as protecting Baba. her focus remained on everything she didn’t do along the journey without giving herself credit for the bravery it took to begin the journey.
Tzain reminded me of how strong I always felt the need to be since I’m the oldest sibling. It’s an unspoken responsibility. We aren’t expected to show weakness. We should always lead by example. We have to figure everything out first. The eldest are the protectors. Sometimes that backfires. This happened when Zelie had her first experiences in love with Inan. Sometimes we are forced to sit on the sidelines to allow them to experience life. No matter how much we try to forewarn them. They are bound to make mistakes. I was right there as Tzain gave up the fight and watched Inan break Zelie’s heart. It was even painful to read. But when Zelie needed his reassurance and support, Tzain was right there.
We are all children of blood and bone.
All instruments of vengeance and virtue.
Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyemi
Through Inan I remembered how hard I fought to maintain my religious upbringing even when I no longer identified with it. Knowing that what you were taught no longer makes sense but still feeling the guilty need to honor it as a sign of loyalty and respect. Inan resented his magic based on the fear that he was taught. I was afraid of my spiritual path because of my upbringing. For the longest I rejected the supernatural things that kept happened to me. Growing up, I wasn’t allowed to question anything religious. I wanted to be able to question why I could ask questions but was never bold or brave enough to stand up to my folks. Saran taught Inan and Amari to hate magic. I was raised to believe that people that didn’t go to church couldn’t prosper in life. Those views didnt change until I started meeting people that didn’t go to church that were living prosperous lives. I began meeting people that not only didn’t attend church, but people that had closer relationships with God than the people that I knew that went faithfully. It wasn’t until I had a mental breakdown that I decided to allow my spiritual journey to begin freely. Since giving up the fight, this is the healthiest that it’s ever been. I too, have plenty of friends (like Kaea) and family that don’t understand it. And I’m completely okay with that.
Although I wanted to read this book as pure fiction, I simply couldn’t. I lost track of time. I allowed my imagination to roam freely in Gombe during the festival. I dreamt about maji pulsing through my veins.
I am beyond grateful for the messages I’ve received while reading this book and ordered Children of Virtue and Vengeance before I was done with Children of Blood and Bone. I look forward to the journey continuing for Zelie, Tzain and Amari now the magic is back!
I apologize if you read and assumed that this would be a regular book review. This ain’t that. This isn’t one of those books. You literally have to experience it’s magic firsthand. It’s deeper than fiction.
Read the book? Wanna discuss it? Contact me!