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.
A YA fantasy novel about teens attempting to save their world.
Full disclosure: There was an extra .25 star for the end notes written by the author.
The predictability! I just got the vibe that this book was supposed to be constantly surprising me with plot points. But somehow I was never surprised.
The writing – This book was written for a young audience. But I read a LOT of books written for a younger audience. It was just too spelled out. How are the characters feeling? I know exactly how they’re feeling because you literally just told me.
The characters constantly making annoying choices. I won’t go into specifics to avoid any spoilers but I was basically annoyed the whole book.
Inan reminded me a lot of Cal from the Red Queen series but without the likeability of Cal. (Team Cal!) Inan mostly annoyed me 100% of the time. BUT his character was needed in the plot so he’s meh.
A lot of plot elements (but not twists) were featured in this book, and that made it a little more fun to read.
The setup of the world was believable and realistic for it being a fantasy novel.
Shout out to Mama Agba. Her character was strong, resilient and great!
Shout out to Tzain for putting up with his annoying sister. (So annoying!)
Shout out to Amari for being anything but what she was born to be.
Overall, I had to force myself to read this book which is over 500 pages and is not a stand alone novel. I don’t know if I’ll read the next one but feel free to wait until the whole series is out before you pick it up.
It should be noted that this author is black. She advocates for black rights and we need more authors like her. We need to be reading more diverse books (myself included!). In her authors note she explains that she wrote this book to allow people to process and have more empathy for the police brutality issues plaguing brown America. For that reason, I would recommend this book if you’re thinking of picking it up.
Take: a self defense class
Eat: a fresh loaf of bread
Watch: The Harry Potter series (feel free to skip around and watch one you know you love, ONLY if you’ve already watched them all before.)