Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
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.
I'll admit to putting off picking this one up because it was so adored when it first hit shelves that I was terrified it wouldn't live up to the hype. Not so. When I finally did start it I found myself immersed in an incredible, vivid, fantasy world.
The world building and character development is staggering, and really grounds the action and provides a solid base to build on. Quite often I become frustrated with fantasy books that have a base of prophecy to spring board the action from, but in this instance it worked incredibly well.
Adeyemi creates a truly complex world with deft strokes, drawing the reader into the story, flinging them headlong into a masterful narrative, and then keeping the pacing balanced on a knife edge. I flew through the novel. At no point does it become bogged down in exposition, instead the construction of the world is so vividly done that the story practically sings as it comes to life around you.
It's an astonishing debut. A staggeringly exciting story. It hums with life, with magic, and sweeps the reader up in the incredible story. I adored this book, and was on the edge of my seat for the climax. Now if it only it can be 2019 so I can get lost in the second book...