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If you only read one thing this year... make it Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

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The start of a new year for readers means one thing: the start of a new Goodreads Challenge, and the endless possibilites of more exciting books to read. But how to decide what gets priority? Well TNS is here to help you, and today I'm here to suggest an amazing book to move to the top of your list, Tomi Adeyemi's 2018 debut, Children of Blood and Bone.

Image: Larry D. Moore CC BY-SA 4.0

Children of Blood and Bone made massive waves in the blogging community last year, with Adeyemi winning a Goodreads Choice Award for Debut Author, as well as being nominated for a Kirkus Prize Award and winning two Epic Reads Book Shimmy Awards (voted for by readers), the Barnes and Noble Insta Buy and The We Need Diverse Books. The book is also already in development for a potential movie at Fox.

It's probably one of the representative books that I've ever read in terms of racial diversity, with the entire cast being comprised of black characters - something that is practically unheard of in YA fantasy, though it definitely shouldn't be. This is of course amazing for black readers, getting to see themselves so centred in a fantasy story, a genre which is notoriously white. 

Children of Blood and Bone also has an incredibly detailed and sprawling fantasy world in the Kingdom of Orisha, inspired by Adeyemi's own Nigerian heritage, the world is filled with different clans of Magi, there are all sorts of incredible fantasy beasts, amazing food, wonderful jungle settings - it feels like you have been dumped in the middle of the world of Orisha whilst reading and are just absorbing all this amazing culture, which is wonderful.

The book also has an incredible cast of flawed and complex characters, from lead Zelie, who is raging against the system that tries to opress Magi like her to Amari, a princess who learns to embrace her inner warrior, to Inan, the prince who is torn between magic and his loyalty to the crown. All three go on such a journey throughout the book and it is amazing to watch them grow and change on their quest to bring back magic.

Adeyemi also explores many real life issues through Children of Blood and Bone, prejudice, police brutality, colourism, slavery etc in a very accesible way, which was amazing to see. The plot is action packed and well crafted and you will be rooting for Zelie and her friends right up till the very last page.

If you love well crafted, sprawling epic fantasy with diverse characters, then Children of Blood and Bone should be at the top of your reading list this year!

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeymi is published by Macmillan Children's (£7.99). For more information click here: http://www.tomiadeyemi.com/




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