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1001 Stories Collection

Children of Blood and Bone

1001 Children Of Blood And Bone
Added on 17th August 2020

Author Tomi Adeyemi
First published 2018
Publisher Macmillan

Zelie embarks on a dangerous journey to reclaim her birthright and restore magic to her world.


Magic is disappearing. Zelie remembers a time when the land of Orisha was enchanted, but now it is enslaved to a harsh ruler who wishes to rid the land of magic forever. Her white hair marks her as one of the ibawi, those with the divine potential for magical power, and when she runs into an escaped princess, Zelie finds herself on a dangerous journey to reclaim her birth-right and restore magic to her home.

Why we chose it

A gripping thriller set in a fantasy world based in West African myths, written in response to anger and helplessness at police bruatality and racism, a fantasy novel firmly rooted in modern horrors.

Where it came from

Tomi Adeyemi is a Nigerian-American writer. She studied English Literature at Harvard before receiving a fellowship to study West African culture and mythology in Brazil. It was there that she found the inspiration for what would become her debut novel Children of Blood and Bone. The book, the first of a trilogy, utilises West African mythology as well as Yoruba culture and language. Adeyemi wanted to write a book for black teenage girls, like her, growing up reading books from which they were absent. Furthermore, Adeyemi was motivated by her sense of hopelessness about police shootings of black Americans. She took inspiration from the 20th century Civil Rights Movement and today’s Black Lives Matter movement. The novel’s fantastical world responds to contemporary issues such as police brutality, racism, and colourism.

Where it went next

Children of Blood and Bone was highly anticipated prior to publication, as the subject of a reported seven-figure book deal. On release it received a huge amount of coverage, was critically acclaimed, and is considered one of the biggest YA titles of recent years. It became a New York Times No. 1 Bestseller, and won several awards, including the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize (Older Fiction) in 2019. It is currently in development for a major new film.

Associated stories

Children of Blood and Bone is the first in Adeyemi’s The Legacy of the Orisha series. The second book, Children of Virtue and Vengeance, was published in 2019, and the third is still to come.

Added on 17th August 2020

Author Tomi Adeyemi
First published 2018
Publisher Macmillan