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.
Last year I did a review for the first six chapters which I enjoyed a lot.
- This feels like it was written with a movie in mind which isn’t a problem necessarily. The issues comes in when I noticed that it fell on movie/tv tropes.
- There was no characterization build
- It is pushed as this West African fantasy but it really did not show that enough
- Felt like a bunch of tropes strung together. Where another author would have steered away or softened the blow of using a trope I felt that this book many times went straight into the trope in the most stereotypical way.
- It felt like it needed to be put through editing at least one more time
- It did not need more than one pov if the characters are going to say the same things in the same ways
- It was repetitive the book could be summed up to: Amari/Inan: “I’m sorry for the wrong my dad has done” Zelie: *scowls* I’m mad Again, #6 and #2
- Gosh if they could have built the opposing p.o.v that these maji are actually dangerous that would have been a very well done dimensional pov to have
- So much of the plot is driven conveniently it does not flow naturally. #1,4,10
- So much of the story felt inauthentic/forced
- The romance #2,#4,#10
Part of me feels like the story is more about what it means for black young adult fans than what it actually is as a novel. It is about what it is supposed to represent than what it actually did. Did it actually do a good job of representing police brutality and the things that black people go through?
- Colorism is used as part of this society which felt so important when so many fantasy books (even the subversive ones) can barely feature poc
- And there are so many stories that do not show or have really dark skin characters especially as a main characters
- The world is majority if not completely African characters
- The magic (when the author showed it) was interesting
- The author got a 7 figure deal and a movie which as a black woman I will never disparage. In result of #1, #3 the movie is safeguarded from certain things. I will watch the movie and I think the story will be elevated by it.