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Children of blood and bone
2018
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  New York Times Review

Picture This: Scrolling through Pinterest one day, Tomi Adeyemi saw something that would change her life: "a digital illustration of a black girl with bright green hair." The image, which burrowed into her subconscious, "was so stunning and magical" that it inspired her to begin an epic fantasy trilogy that draws equally from current events and African culture. The first volume, "Children of Blood and Bone," which enters the Young Adult list at No. 1, "is an epic West African adventure," Adeyemi explains, "but layered within each page is an allegory for the modern black experience. Every obstacle my characters face, no matter how big or small, is tied to an obstacle black people are fighting today or have fought as recently as 30 years ago." Drawing Fire: Did you know that the United States Army has an artist-in-residence program? No? Neither did the novelist Brad Meitzer, who discovered it while he was filming an episode of his cable TV show, "Lost History," at Fort Belvoir in Virginia. "They were giving me a tour and showing me their art collection," he says. "I kept thinking, 'Why does the Army have all this art?' " Meitzer, an enthusiastic researcher, soon discovered that "since World War I, the Army has assigned at least one person - an actual artist - whom they send out in the field to, well... paint what couldn't otherwise be seen. They go, they see, and they paint and catalog victories and mistakes, from the dead on D-Day to the injured at Mogadishu." The idea for "The Escape Artist" - which debuts this week at No. 1 on the hardcover fiction list - soon sprang into his head. "Imagine an artistsoldier whose real skill was finding the weakness in anything. 'The Escape Artist' started right there," he says. Other research for the book sent Meitzer to Dover Air Force Base, which houses "the mortuary for the U.S. government's most top-secret and high-profile cases. I became obsessed with it. In this world, where so much of the government is a mess, Dover is the one place that does it absolutely right," Meitzer says. "It is the one no-fail mission in the military. When a soldier's body comes home, you don't mess it up." The most interesting thing he learned there, which he obviously incorporated into the novel, was also the oddest: "When your plane is going down and about to crash, if you write a farewell note and eat it, the liquids in your stomach can help the note survive the crash. It has really happened. Next time you're on a plane and hit turbulence, you're going to be thinking of me." ? 'Layered within each page is an allegory for the modern black experience.'

  Publishers Weekly Review

Turpin's bold reading of Adeyemi's Afro-futurist fantasy solidifies her reputation as one of the best voice actors working today. Since he took power 11 years earlier, King Saran has brutally suppressed the use of magic in the fictional African kingdom of Orïsha. When his 17-year-old daughter, Amari, is motivated by her father's violence to flee the palace and head for the unknown, she teams up with the embattled teen diviner Zélie to restore magic-and justice-to Zélie's people. Turpin is a star at voicing the novel's characters, but the contralto depth she employs for Zélie stands out-particularly during religious rituals, in which Zélie cries out to the gods for help in her quest. Turpin's sonorous incantation of prayers, as well as her brisk pacing during exciting moments of danger, will have listeners on the edge of their seats. Her depiction of the king's rage is also downright terrifying, as Turpin is unafraid to roar. Her hypnotic performance is one to be reckoned with. Ages 14-up. A Holt hardcover. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

  School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-After King Saran brutally murdered the maji (or "maggots," according to the king), Orïsha is no longer a magic-filled world of Burners, Healers, Reapers, and Connectors, and Zélie and her older brother Tzain struggle to make ends meet. Zélie's white hair marks her as a divîner, with potential for magic, and she trains and plots against Saran's heavy-handed rule. When King Saran's daughter, in possession of a stolen scroll, begs for Zélie's help, the two go on the run with Tzain as an initially reluctant accomplice. The trio risk their lives on the seemingly impossible task of uniting the scroll with sacred objects, which will restore magic to the world. Working against them is the crown prince, Inan, tasked by the king to retrieve the scroll at any cost. Gory killings erupt throughout, with a final battle drenched in blood. Narrator Bahni Turpin juggles voices as Zélie, Amari, Tzain, and Inan alternate as narrators, along with many secondary characters. Turpin slides easily from rolling r's to a lilting cadence to distinguish one from another. VERDICT Adeyemi's epic fantasy delivers an Afrocentric world of jungles and oceans, leopanairs and coconut boats. Consider for high school and public libraries.-Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley Sch., Fort Worth, TX © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Summary
<p> *Winner of the Audie Award for Audiobook of the Year* <br> <br> *This program is narrated by acclaimed reader Bahni Turpin, whose past work includes The Hate U Give and The Underground Railroad * <br> <br> "Bahni Turpin's breathtaking narration of this exhilarating novel will keep listeners rooted to their seats, listening intently...an audiobook not to be missed." -- AudioFile Magazine, Earphones Award winner <br> <br> In Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. </p><p> They killed my mother. <br> They took our magic. <br> They tried to bury us. </p><p> Now we rise. </p><p>Z lie Adebola remembers when the soil of Or sha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Z lie's Reaper mother summoned forth souls.<br>But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Z lie without a mother and her people without hope.</p><p>Now Z lie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Z lie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good. <br>Danger lurks in Or sha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Z lie herself as she struggles to control her powers--and her growing feelings for an enemy.</p><p> Praise for Children of Blood and Bone: </p><p>" Narrator Bahni Turpin] excels at customizing her voice to capture the unique personalities of each character...This excellent, refreshing performance of Adeyemi's exciting debut is recommended for all collections where fantasy is popular" -- Booklist, Starred Review <br> <br> "One of the biggest young adult fiction debut book deals of the year. Aside from a compelling plot and a strong-willed heroine as the protagonist, the book deals with larger themes, like race and power, that are being discussed in real time." -- Teen Vogue </p>
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