This book was read by Courtney Bippley, Reference Librarian at the Main Campus, and Meredith Lewis, Orange County Campus Librarian.
Genre: Fantasy, YA
#ReadGreatThings2018 Category: A book with a supernatural creature [yup], occurrence [yup], or event [yup]
Find out more about the Read Great Things Challenge here.
Why did you choose to read this book?
Courtney: It has been getting a lot of really good press. And, Meredith told me to read it, so it meets the ‘recommended by a Librarian’ item on the Read Great Things Challenge.
Meredith: I love a good fantasy world and this one, where those with magic have been all-but-enslaved by those without (though the story turns out much more complex than that), is tops. I love some good world-building, and this is some of the best and clearest I’ve read in a while.
What did you like about it?
Courtney: I enjoyed the relationship between the main character and her brother. It felt real to me because it wasn’t all sunshine and happiness, but it was commitment and family.
Meredith: I loved that at its core it was about what our obligation to other human beings is and how, despite how family loyalty is a big theme in this story, sometimes we have to come to terms with things our family members have done that are wrong. And how we can move to effect positive (though difficult) change. Plus, again– the world-building and mythologies were really lovely.
Did it remind you of any other book, or a movie?
Courtney: It reminded me a little bit of Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi because the magic in both revolved around death, and they are both set in magical, fictional, African countries. However, I’ll say that Children of Blood and Bone is much better than Beasts Made of Night on every level (plotting, character development, magic systems, world building…) so you can just read this one.
Meredith: The world-building reminded me of Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse. I also really liked that, although it had some romance and romantic tension, that wasn’t the primary focus of the story. They have a world to save, folks!
Was there anything noteworthy about the book?
Courtney: It’s going to be a movie!
Meredith: Lionaires. (One of many awesome things about the book, but I don’t want to spoil it for you.) Honestly, though, it’s cool that it takes a non-Western (African, specifically West African) approach to the underlying mythology of the world.
What feeling did the book leave you with?
Courtney: This book left me feeling like I wanted to read the next one. Typical of most first books in a trilogy, the end set up an interesting premise for the next book.
Meredith: I’ll admit this book left me a little stressed out. Like Courtney, I’m eagerly awaiting the second book, especially since lots of heavy stuff went down towards the end of the first book and I’m worried about some of the characters.
Who would you recommend the book to?
Courtney & Meredith: Anyone who enjoys young adult fantasy books, or just fantasy books [with great world-building] in general.
What would you pair this book with?
Courtney: This book would pair well with a self-defense class. I’d like to learn how to fight with a stick.
Meredith: Binti by Nnedi Okorafor or The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin [available at the Orange County Campus Library].