Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I fear I'm going to be one of those rare people who won't gush over this new fantasy. I wanted to.
Let me first say that I enjoyed aspects of it. The end was very strong. But aside from resting an entire fantasy on the strength of Nigerian (and surrounding) territories and the rage-filled text flowering in the text, focusing on senseless brutality and the underlying sameness of us all, there was little else for me to hold on to.
The fantasy itself was thoroughly cliche. There was nothing seriously wrong with it aside from being just like every other average epic fantasy tale I've ever read. Runaway princess, downtrodden people, the return of magic, the quest items, the building of an army. It was steeped in local culture, sure, and the author had a lot of emotion regarding the themes, but the basic plots dragged on and on and I frankly had a really hard time staying focused. Unfortunately for me, I've read this same story over a dozen times, just change the culture and names, and to make it worse, parts of it were very long.
I would, however, recommend this to anyone who wants a slightly different flavor of big fantasy who also hasn't gorged themselves on the genre. The cliche, for me, just happened to be too much for too long. If it had been a shorter work I probably wouldn't have minded so much, but when I kept hoping for a grand twist that wouldn't come, when I kept counting the minutes until the tale ended, when my strongest and most heartfelt reaction was in the actual ending, then I knew something was a little off.
That being said, I can absolutely appreciate the core of what is trying to be accomplished here (Stop the Senseless Violence) perfectly well without gushing over this novel.
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