City and Country is such a diverse community that the themes of racism, social justice, and “Modern Black experience,” that are present in the #1 New York Times best seller, Children of Blood and Bone, can be applied to many members of the C&C community. Written by twenty-five year old Tomi Adeyemi, she is a Nigerian-American who uses her own experience during the the police shootings as well as West-African culture and mythology as inspiration. Called a “Black Lives Matter–inspired fantasy novel,” by The Atlantic, and “Black Panther with Magic,” by Adeyemi her self, Children of Blood and Bone is a is a young adult fantasy novel everyone should read.
What’s it about?
The book follows characters Zélie, Amari, and Inan. In the world of Orïsha, powerful Maji, people with magic existed in clans. These Maji were feared by those in power. So when magic mysteriously disappeared, leaving those with magic defenseless, an event called the Raid, was a genocide of the Maji. Now Diviners, Maji without magic, are treated horribly. Zélie, is the child of a Maji who remembers the Raid and Magic. Inan and Amari are a Prince and Princess who have been raised to to think the Maji and diviners are dangerous, and deserve their horrible treatment. When Amari realises how badly the Diviners are being treated, she steals a powerful artifact with the potential to bring magic back.
Why should you read it?
Children of Blood and Bone includes heavy themes, like racism and colorism, and what it’s like to be on both sides of it. Adeyemi originally got the idea from a gift shop in Brazil, where she saw a beautiful depiction of African Gods and Goddesses, which became her first idea for Orïsha. In addition to this, most of the characters are black, which is, sadly, revolutionary. Being a diverse community, many people within the community may relate to some of the characters. Part of what’s so great about the book is its ability to subtly, but still effectively explore these sensitive, and heavy topics. In addition, Children of Blood and Bone explores many sides of these topics. For example, Zelie is the one being treated less than human, Amari sees the awful treatment and wants to stop it, despite being raised to think otherwise, and Inan thinks that the Diviners are less than human. In ways only the best fantasy books can do, it gives all the readers the same experience to draw the same conclusion, unlike real life. To quote Adeyemi herself, “the power of fantasy is to make people understand the deep realities of our world.” (Mashable)
Children of Blood and Bone’s great themes and story makes it a wonderful read, being both engaging and provocative. Or as Adeyemi put it, “... like, cake with asparagus. Because you're eating good cake, but you're learning real things and you're learning how it, like, feels to live through what we're living through today.” Beautifully written and immersive, it’s a great book for everyone, but especially to those who enjoy fantasy and adventure.