Started: April 1, 2018
Finished: April 8, 2018
Rating: 5/5 stars
You crushed us to build your monarchy on the backs of our blood and bone. Your mistake wasn’t keeping us alive.
I’m still in awe of this book!
Once, the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Then, it was taken away – and the king ordered the genocide of the maji. Zélie Adebola’s mother was one of the maji who was killed. Years later, Zélie finds herself in the position of bringing magic back to her people, but while journeying to do this Zélie will find herself challenged – not just by her enemies, but by herself.
This book deals heavily in racism and what people of colour still find themselves going through today, no matter what others (aka white people) might think. All the characters are written in a way that makes them and their stories jump out of the pages towards you – real and vivid and impossible to look away from. To not listen to. And that is exactly what we need; we need this diversity, the representation of people who don’t always get to tell their story. And we goddamn need more stories based in African mythology (this one is based on western African mythology, but Africa’s huge, so this is only a snippet of what’s there).
The story and the setting are excellently written and it’s easy for the reader to sort of just close your eyes and – bam – you’re in Orïsha. And the ending gives you that sweet but terrible feeling of “Wait, is this the end and the next book isn’t out yet? How will I survive?”