Review: Children of Virtue and Vengeance (#2) by Tomi Adeyemi

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After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they could’ve imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too.
Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari’s right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy’s wrath.
With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart.

After enjoying the first book in this series, Children of Blood and Bone, I decided to pick the second one up while the events of the first were still fresh in my memory. I found the first book engaging if slightly long, with brilliant world-building and an accessible writing style.

Going into the second book, I decided to pick this up on audio. I read the first chunk (around 20%) of Children of Blood and Bone as an audiobook, and I found it engaging and followed the story well. But with Children of Virtue and Vengeance, I found myself switching off almost instantly.

“We’re the children of the gods.” I lift my chin.

Some of the negatives I felt in the first book continued with the second, mainly the relationships between the main characters feeling quite juvenile, and increasingly hormonal throughout this second instalment. The scenes I do actually remember about this book a couple of weeks after finishing it are actually these kinds of scenes, and they feel quite disconnected from the rest of the story.

I felt the story was quite disjointed and disconnected overall, and doesn’t flow very well. To this day, immediately after reading, and even during reading this book, I could not tell you the plot. The first book seemed to follow quite a destined storyline and ended on a cliffhanger, but this one seems to be a mishmash of the fallout from the first book. I’m not even sure how it ended anymore.

“If someone’s running away, it’s not going to be us.”

Overall, this was definitely a disappointment after the complex and intricate fantasy of the first book, of which I could only pick a few (more personal) grievances. I doubt I’ll be continuing with the series at this point.

2 out of 5 stars


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Review: Children of Blood and Bone (#1) by Tomi Adeyemi

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They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.
Now we rise.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.
But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.
Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.
Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.

I’ve been meaning to read this series for such a long time, and I finally picked it up as a buddy read with my friend Courtney on our reading holiday this year. We listened to the start on audio and picked up the rest in physical format. This book is quite a chunky fantasy at over 500 pages, and it did feel daunting for both of us going in, but we quickly found it quite easy to read and not as intimidating as either of us expected.

This book is quite an intricate epic fantasy but it is YA, and felt quite accessible to read and dive in. The pacing was really well done, and I did find it quite quick to read. I must say though, it did feel very long and at times felt like a bit of a slog to get through.

I teach you to be warriors in the garden

I really liked the main characters, of which we have four and this book is told from multiple perspectives. There is two main romances, which I didn’t mind but never really connected with necessarily, they were both a bit too instant for me. I also found that because we had a number of main protagonists, there was quite a few side characters, and because of the sheer amount of names to remember, I never felt connected. There were a couple of instances where something would happen to one of the side characters, and although the main characters were affected, I didn’t feel….anything.

There is a lot crammed into these pages, and the plot was super fast paced. There was a number of times where I felt like the next part of the story would take the majority of the book, and it would then only take a couple of chapters to progress. I didn’t mind this too much, but it was a lot to take in.

so you will never be gardeners in the war.

Overall, I did enjoy this book and I will be continuing with the series. It wasn’t perfect and I did have a few annoyances, but I can see why this book gets a lot of love.

3.5 out of 5 stars


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