Children of Blood and Bone Summary & Study Guide

Tomi Adeyemi
This Study Guide consists of approximately 45 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Children of Blood and Bone.
This section contains 851 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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Children of Blood and Bone Summary & Study Guide Description

Children of Blood and Bone Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi.

The following version of this book was used: Adeyemi, Tomi. Orisha Legacy Series #1: Children of Blood and Bone. Henry Holt and Company, 2018.

Children of Blood and Bone is told in first-person present narration. The chapters rotate narrators between Zelie, Amari, and Inan. Zelie is a 17-year-old girl who lives in Orisha, a mythical country based on Nigeria. Eleven years ago, King Saran killed magic and then ordered a genocide of all Maji (a magical race of people) over thirteen and then set up a social system in which they young Maji, or Diviners, would have no choice but to enter into indentured servitude and slavery for the rest of their lives, giving the monarchy a powerful army of free laborers.

Zelie is training to fight with her staff when her brother Tzain runs in and tells her that their father is in danger. They run to his aid and find that he has nearly drowned and lost their boat trying to earn money to pay the extra taxes Zelie, as a Diviner, costs her family. Zelie and Tzain decide to go to the capital in order to sell an expensive fish. Zelie makes an excellent sale, and is just about to return home, when Princess Amari runs up to her and begs her for help. She has just witnessed her father murder her maid and best frend, Binta, in order to prove that a magical scroll his guards had found really did turn Maji magic. Amari steals the scroll and flees the castle, and Zelie helps her do so. Inan, the young prince tasked by his father to capture the thief, flees after Amari and Zelie, but they stay ahead of him.

When he catches up to the girls, Inan’s men light a fire that catches Zelie’s village on fire and kills some of her neighbors. Zelie, Tzain, and Amari seek aid from Mama Agba, one of the only living adult Majis in the country, and she tells them that she has had a vision of the trio walking up the mountain to Chandomble. They take her advice and find the one remaining sentaro, Lekan, who tells them that the magic scroll is one of three items that, when combined on a secret island that appears once every hundred years, will reestablish the connection between the magic and the gods.

Inan pursues the girls to the temple. His guards attack and kill Lekan, who has just gotten the trio safely over a bridge and given them the second artifact: the bone dagger. They cut the ropes and then Inan is left hopeless on the wrong side of the bridge. He spends a few days walking through the temple as the builders build a new bridge quicker. To his horror, he has begun to exhibit magical tendencies. When Kaea walks in on him constructing a dream with Zelie, she is furious with him and terrified of him. He tries to reason with her, but he only succeeds in killing her.

The trio continues on to Ibeji where they think the sunstone is being held. When they hear the news in the streets that a competition is being held in order to find a winner for the sunstone, they can hardly believe their luck. They enter the competition and Zelie uses her newly awakened Reaper magic to summon spirits to help her keep the boat from sinking and to help her kill the competitors. With all three artifacts on their possession, the trio walks out of the desert and into the jungle, where they meet up with Inan and decide to join forces momentarily. They meet a large group of rogue Majis who have banded together as a tribe outside the city and the king’s political reach. The group asks the quartet to stay for a holiday celebration, and, like they still have time to spend a couple of days recuperating, the quartet agrees.

Just before the celebration, the king’s guards attack the colony and take Zelie prisoner. Under the king’s orders, the guards carve the hateful slur “Maggot” into Zelie’s back. Inan tries to stop them, but he is powerless in the face of his father. Tzain and Amari break into the cell and rescue Zelie, who has lost her magic. Instead of giving up, she hires Roen, the leader of a band of mercenaries, to take her and her crew to the magical island. The gang infiltrates the island in disguise, but when they enter the temple they see Inan and King Seran and realize Inan has set them up. A fight ensues and Inan destroys the scroll while Amari kills their father. Zelie performs an impromptu ritual, hoping that the gods will help her do something, anything, to justify all the effort and people who died to help get her here. Her wishes are granted when she wakes up from passing out after the ritual and discovers that Amari has magical powers. This suggests that Zelie’s ritual gave magic to everyone in the country rather than just the Maji.

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