Parents' Guide to

Children of Blood and Bone: Legacy of Orisha, Book 1

By Michael Berry, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Young women aim to save magic in exciting African fantasy.

Book Tomi Adeyemi Fantasy 2018
Children of Blood and Bone: Legacy of Orisha, Book 1 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 14+

Compelling wondrous plot with intense danger

This book and author are gems for young adult literature. The world Tomi Adeyemi builds has depths of danger, resistance, power, fear, and wonder that are rare and make a magical and loosely-real place feel completely alive. In case it helps other parents, here's a little personal context. I have an 11 year old whose main hobby has always been reading, and as a result she wants challenging YA books. The problem is finding YA books with a more middle-grade sensibility...or at least that don't cross into too many older teen themes like hyper image obsession, intense sexual desire, alcohol, and bloody violence. She loves magical and danger-filled fantasies where a kid or teen has a quest to complete that will save the world. I wondered if this book would be a good stretch read for her or if the content would get too dark or too intense. The violence and sexual desire go past her maturity level, but the plot is so well suited for her magical adventure interests that we are reading it together while I smooth out the scenes she can't handle yet. Violence and sexual scenes seem fine for a relatively mature 13 or typical 14-15 year old. Alcohol or other intoxicants are present, but not a major component. Image obsession plays a bit part, but is not framed as what a teen or woman is supposed to be. Some examples: During a battle scene that ends with 538 people dead: "Crazed men run toward us, but by the grace of the gods, our crew cuts them down. One man dies just steps from me, blood pooling in his mouth as a knife protrudes from his neck." At the palace in a scene with the queen, princess, and a likely mate for the prince: "Though mother says 'regal,' the word 'lighter' hides behind her lips... As I peek at Samara from behind my cup, I'm struck by her new soft brown complexion. It was only a few luncheons ago she shared her mother's mahogany coloring." In a scene between a magi who can enter people's thoughts and a magi who does not have that power: "'You just get to dance around in my mind while I have no idea what's going on in yours.' 'You really want to know?' 'Of course I want to know! Do you realize how embarrassing it is to have no con--' I push her against the bark of the tree. My mouth presses against her neck. She gasps as I run my hands up her back. A small moan escapes her lips. 'This,' I whisper. My mouth brushes her skin with each word. 'This is what I'm thinking. This is what's going through my head.'" Overall, I highly recommend this book for older teens and adults. A younger teen or adventure-driven tween may be drawn to the story, but the content is really too much for that age without some parental editing.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
age 15+

Exciting Fantasy!

I have recommended this book to teachers for high school aged readers. It's truly an awesome read!

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (29 ):

This exciting fantasy offers a world full of danger and enchantment as well as vibrant characters with awesome potential. As the Black Panther movie has proved, there's a market for Africa-based superheroics, and this action-packed saga plays like a medieval West African version of the X-Men. Sometimes Children of Blood and Bone debut author Tomi Adeyemi's prose gets a little overwrought, especially during the many battle scenes, but given the high level of suspense, most readers are unlikely to notice. Zelie is a captivating protagonist, but the three other point-of-view characters add welcome alternative perspectives. The story ends with a twist, and readers will be eager for the publication of the next installment. The epic series represents a major commitment, but it's off to a powerful start.

Book Details

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