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Children of Virtue and Vengeance: Legacy of Orisha, Book 2

Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
Children of Virtue and Vengeance: Legacy of Orisha, Book 2 Book Poster Image
African fantasy keeps up suspense in battle-heavy sequel.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Has elements based on West African mythology. Themes include genocide, civil rights, the process of liberation, and the process of overcoming grief and trauma..

Positive Messages

People can combat discrimination through collective action. It's possible to treat your enemies with compassion. Families must stand together to oppose injustice. Grief is a normal emotion in the face of tragedy.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Zelie is focused on returning magic to her people. Although she sometimes doubts her own abilities, she never loses her passion for her campaign. Her brother Tzain is more focused on their immediate safety. Prince Inan is conflicted by his loyalty to the royal family and his understanding of their cruelty, and Princess Amari pledges her loyalty to her new friends and protectors.

Violence

Many battle scenes, most of them magic-based, but including some disturbing scenes in which characters seem to melt from the inside out. Main characters are often in mortal danger, but they generally escape at the last second. Violence has consequences, and characters are sometimes overcome by it.There's also lots of talk of loss of family. 

Sex

Romantic couples occasionally pair off for some passionate kissing, but such scenes are rare and not graphic in their intensity.

Language

Infrequent use of "dammit" and "bastard."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A lot of party drinking in chapter 62. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Children of Virtue and Vengeance is the second volume in the Africa-based fantasy series by Tomi Adeyemi. The action begins where it left off in Children of Blood and Bone, with magic returned to the land of Orisha by Zelie and Amari. There are many battle scenes, but their impact is blunted by their repetitiveness. There are some disturbing scenes in which characters seem to melt from the inside out. There's also lots of talk of loss of family. Romantic couples occasionally pair off for some passionate kissing, but such scenes are rare and not graphic. Infrequent strong language is limited to "dammit" and "bastard." 

User Reviews

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Teen, 13 years old Written byread08 January 18, 2020

What's the story?

As CHILDREN OF VIRTUE AND VENGEANCE opens, Zelie and Amari have brought magic back to the land of Orisha after a bitter struggle. What they don't suspect is that an act of betrayal will take them by surprise and leave their cohort shattered. Told from multiple perspectives, the story emphasizes the tragedy of family members pitted against each other. Villains and heroes step forward and take on new responsibility as the stakes grow higher.

Is it any good?

Author Tomi Adeyemi maintains a high level of suspense and displays a knack for complex characterization in this exciting sequel. Epic fantasy isn't known for its diversity, but this saga sticks close to its roots and presents teen characters of African backgrounds. There are many battles, but they project a certain degree of sameness as the narrative advances. Characters seem to die, but are then somehow healed. Adeyemi has some stylistic tics that may bother some readers (for example, she always comments on what's happening to a character's chest during a stressful situation, although not in a sexual way). All in all, a necessary gathering of plot threads, but an installment that many leave some readers impatient for the final volume of the series.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Children of Virtue and Vengeance depicts characters in the middle of a civil war. How can citizens of a country become so politically polarized that people take up weapons against each other?

  • Children of Virtue and Vengeance takes inspiration from African mythology. Why does ancient folklore still speak to modern reader?

  • What do you think of the violence in Children of Virtue and Vengeance? Is it an effective part of the storytelling?  

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