Publisher: Henry Holt Books for Young Readers
Published: March 6th, 2018
Genres: Fiction, YA, Fantasy
My Rating: 5 Stars
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.
WOW, this book was amazing. It lives up to the hype. Also the audiobook narrator, Bahni Turpin fantastic. The character voices she used were great.
This book has three rotating narrators, which sometimes doesn’t work. Multiple POV is hit or miss for me, this one each of the three characters have such different voices and experiences that it’s great.
There is an author’s note at the end of this book which I think is important to discuss. There are no spoilers, but Adeyemi discusses what inspired her to write this story: the murders of so many unarmed African Americans, mostly men, in the United States.
Orïsha is a place where there is a very clear class divide between people with magic and those without. The Maji were wiped out in a raid; many parents killed in front of children. This event is a huge part of Zélie’s, as well as every other child in Orïsha’s life. It’s clear everywhere the characters travel how the raid affected the people and how the monarchy has changed everything.
There is a lot of violence in this book, I felt like it fit the story, but if blood and violence bother you, this may not be the book for you.
I think right now, this book is important, there’s a lot going on. It’s a well-written action-packed allegory to the 2018 political climate, as Adeyemi states in the author’s note.
If you haven’t had a chance to pick up this book, I don’t think I can recommend it more. It’s so great. I can’t wait until the next part of this story.
Until next time Internet,