A review of Tomi Adeyemi's The Children of Blood and Bone and insight to my creative process.
The Children of Blood and Bone
Tomi Adeyemi's The Children of Blood and Bone had something I have never seen in the Fantasy Genre.
An All African Cast.
The setting is the heart of Lagos, however, the sword and sorcery version of the Nigerian city has its own form of coined-currency, gender-neutral monarchy, and four-legged form of transportation. As you traverse the lush Orishan terrains and encounter troubles through the eyes of the characters you see the striking similarities between this fantasy story and our reality.
In The Children of Blood and Bone, you follow three characters and their journey to right the wrongs of their society. A nation deprived of the very magic that laid the foundation of existence. It is a story of how easily a central authority, King Saran, can justify genocide through the lens of everlasting peace. A peace that only lives at the expense of the annihilation of an ethnic group whose only crime was their birth. One of the main characters is a young woman named Zelie.
Zelie is a descendant of Maji, who were at one point in time powerful magic users. However, during King Saran’s rise to power, he ensured magic only existed in the minds of the elderly. A tale for young children and nothing more. Zelie joins forces with unlikely companions and takes on the most impossible task known to her people. Bringing back Magic.
Tomi Adeyemi does an impeccable job bringing the story to life. Though the book is a fantasy, as you embark on a quest with Zelie you experience her life struggles. Racial injustice, crimes against humanity, unfair taxation to the point of cruelty, and a corrupt prison system targeting a specific group of the population, are daily ocurrences of Zelie’s life.
Any of this sound familiar?
It should, I believe this book is merely a reflection of human history. From slavery to the Holocaust, The Children of Blood and Bone is a painful reminder of one group's twisted idea of survival, means tyranny for others.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, though there are deaths and betrayals that made it hard to continue knowing the pain it caused the characters. Love and loss are common themes in The Children of Blood and Bone, and it leaves you with both tears of joy and of sorrow. I highly recommend it to Fantasy lovers and also people who want to understand the minority struggle. It’s a battle no one can win alone.
My Creative Process
“I think there are two types of writers, the architects and the gardeners.”
- George R.R. Martin
I like to think of myself as a landscaper. I have a vision of how I want it to look in the end. During the writing process, I plant the seeds, and as they grow shape them to match my vision. Sometimes there are beautiful surprises in the garden.
When I start a new project I ask myself the following questions:
How many characters do I need and what do they do?
- What do they love/hate/fear
- Where do they live?
- What do I want my readers to walk away feeling?
And with that, I put pen to paper creating an outline. Not terribly specific, just a general idea of what will happen and how it plays a part in the ending.
As I’m writing, I get a second set of eyes on it to address plot holes or if characters are acting in ways that are counter-intuitive to their nature.
From there, I keep writing, focusing on the character’s motives. Nothing else.
It’s pretty simple, and when I read books by amazing authors like Tomi Adeyemi and George R. R. Martin my vocab expands making it easier to articulate to you all a clear and concise message.
Hope you enjoyed my second blog post!