Rated 5 of 5 stars
Not very often you come across an epic story that will stay with you for a very long time. Tomi Adeyemi has been blessed to have that in this fantasy novel full of heart, loss and pride. While there are many characters that will make you love their complex emotions and their drive to overcome adversity…there is something more in this novel. Something profound.
We follow the story of Zelie, a maji (or person with magical gifts), who is not tethered to her magic along with all other maji children after the Raid occurred (and killed all the skilled, adult maji). Magic was taken away by King Saran who plotted for years to avenge his father’s death after he was slain by a maji while trying to bring the communities together. The Raid brutally killed Zelie’s mother and left her brother and father emotionally torn in the wake…Zelie tries to endure this loss by learning to fight in secret. Through a fluke meeting, Zelie is exposed to an artifact that gives her the use of her magical power. Once Zelie has magic, she realizes her infinite potential, power and the beauty of her people. So she begins a quest to bring magic back to all maji. On this journey she will lose many people that she loved and those whom she hated will show their humanity to her in new ways.
The story has the strength and bravado to show what hatred looks like and the true unrelenting gore of what someone in power can do to those who are weaker, fearful or lost. This is perfect timing for our current world events. Adeyemi explores the depths of love on so many levels. The pain of it. The intense gratification and comfort. The confusion and the vulnerability in it. She cleverly drops hints about having pride in ones heritage when others discourage or degrade you. Her writing shines throughout this novel and is so well done I don’t particularly have a negative thought after reading it. The characters were well written and complex with multiple levels. I enjoyed seeing their growth throughout the novel (some for good while others for the worst). I also thought that her Authors Note at the end of the novel was especially heartfelt and speaks volumes of the spirit in which she wrote this book. I can’t express enough how important it is to experience a book like this (before the movie comes out)…Highly Recommended!
Raging Book Reviews Highly Recommended!
*Book purchased with my own money for review. Use my link to grab a copy HERE