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.
To start, I love the cover of this book, yeah, I know, don’t judge a book… but I did and I am glad that I did.
The characters in this story are fascinating and quite complex. There is not much black and white with them they are all dealing with a lot of trauma in different ways and that is shown in their flawed reactions and responses. You really do feel like you are on a journey with them as they grow and change.
Zélie is the main character and she is a fierce warrior. Throughout the story you watch her grow in strength, physically and mentally, whilst at the same time maintain much of her innocence and vulnerability. The other characters are all as intriguing and I was invested in each of their struggles, each one has true value in the story line.
The villains are strong, there are characters that will win your heart and lose it as well. There are lots of twists that you did not see coming.
This story is full of emotion and full of action, there are big fight scenes, battles and chases, it really is action packed.
This is a true saga and I would recommend it for aged 13 +. There are a couple of squeamish bits in some of the battle scenes.
In all of that, the story is very Americanised and whilst it is so good to have a book where the main characters are all black and it is set in an African nation, a little research shows that the portrayal of the language and her artistic license with the landscape is questionable. I was also confused by the constant references to hair and was disappointed that there were a few referenced to the beauty of her straight silken hair.
Still overall I did enjoy the book and the characters. It is a YA novel and was such an easy read for me, I could not put it down and I ordered the sequel before I finished it, because I did want to follow the characters on their journey.