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Tomi Adeyemi's CHILDREN OF VIRTUE AND VENGEANCE: High Tensions and Hard Choices - Ashley's Review

Updated: Jan 27, 2020

Title and Author: Tomi Adeyemi's Children of Virtue and Vengeance

Overall Impression: I loved Children of Blood and Bone and couldn't wait to read this sequel. I did have to read up on some plot details about the first one before I dove into the second book, but it came back quickly, and I was thrilled to see the main characters as they grew in their leadership and in their sense of purpose. I appreciated the three main perspectives (Amari, Zélie, and Inan) and found that Adeyemi had good control over their unique voices and perspectives. It was fascinating to see the development of Inan and Amari's mother, Queen Nehanda, as a prime antagonist; it certainly made things more complex for both of them. I loved getting to know each of the main characters more deeply in this second novel, and I appreciated the unique struggles of each.

What Worked for Me: I loved the way we saw the complexity of war dynamics and tensions between people (both as individuals and as groups). Adeyemi shows how difficult it is to trust each other and how hard it is to bring about change even when you know what it is that needs to change. I most especially loved the struggles that Amari faced in this novel; how can she find her place to fight against her own family and the royalty into which she was born? She makes profound mistakes but continues to struggle to do what is right. I also loved the development of some of the secondary characters, such as Mama Agba (such an amazing and wise woman!) and Mâzeli, because they were richly drawn and nuanced.

What Didn't Work for Me: At times I struggled to identify with the profound inability of some of the characters to see each other's perspectives, but I believe it's an accurate portrayal both of a youthful perspective and of the divisiveness that comes in times of extreme tumult. I was also drawn to the chemistry between Inan and Zélie in Children of Blood and Bone, so I wasn't as willing to let Roën into my heart as I perhaps should have been.

Bookish Love: 4/5 Bookish Hearts - CANNOT wait for Book Three!

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