‘’In the beginning, Orisha was a land where the rare and sacred maji thrived. Each of the ten clans was gifted by the gods above and given a different power to land.’’
It is not every day that you encounter a book that lets you dive in a world of magic, with such intensity as Children of Blood and Bone. A story so beautifully written, that you forget this is not the real world and you are in a fantasy story. This is one of the books I wish I could keep reading it for the first time again and again.
When majis are born with white hair, it means that they are touched by the Gods. They are called Diviners, and when they celebrate their thirteenth birthday, they have the ability to use magic.
Zelie still remembers how Orisha used to have magic. Different clans existed, and they could all control different things: air, water, earth… But Zelie also remembers the night when everything went wrong. When the king and the army came and killed hundreds of people. Zelie remembers, like it was yesterday, how on that night they brutally killed her mother. The night when magic disappeared forever.
And when Zelie realises that she is one of the very few people that can still use magic, and return magic in Orisha, she goes on a quest with her brother. With the help of a princess that escapes the castle, she has to learn to control her magic powers, and also her feelings for an enemy she mustn’t trust.
‘’I longed for the day I would feel the magic of the dead in my bones, but right now all I can feel is an unnerving tingle in my veins.’’
The world is so well created, and the characters are all loveable and adorable. The magic story in this book is unique and I loved getting to know more about all clans, what they can do, and reading about people realising they have magic in themselves.
Zelie, as a character, is the protagonist, as all adventures are revolved around her, but the other characters are as much as important, if not in some cases, more important than her. She is a character that many of us can relate to. A person that has been denied the sole purpose of existing. A person that has suffered, because of other people’s choices. For Zelie, this was the denial of magic to her and her people, but for others it could be just anything. What I loved the most was the bravery that she showed, even though inside her she would be so scared. It felt as if fear itself made her to be brave. And I have felt that many times. Sometimes, you don’t really have a choice, but to be brave, no matter how scared you might be.
Then, we have Zelie’s brother, Tzain, who is always the more cautious one and tries to (unsuccessfully) keep Zelie out of trouble. He has so much love for Zelie in his heart and is always the one throwing himself out there to protect her. If I ever had a brother, I would wish for him to be Tzain. I couldn’t explain the love and connection they have together with Zelie. It’s so beautiful!
Then there is Amari, the princess that doesn’t agree with her father’s choices, and decides to follow her heart. I think I loved Amari the most out of all characters, as she was my true hero. Raised in a world of ruthless cruelty, and forced to do things she doesn’t want, her father, the king, always believes that she is weak, and incapable of defending herself and ruling a kingdom. And out there, with Zelie and Tzain, is where Amari finds her true self, and the moment she does is the best scene in this whole book, the beauty of a woman being so powerful, only because she was being belittled her whole life.
‘’It’s like seeing her for the first time: the human behind the maji. Fear embedded in the pain. Tragedy caused in Father’s name.’’
And in the end, we have Inan, the most controversial character in this book. The son of the king, and brother of Amari, dedicated to follow his father and rule the kingdom, but struggling between what is right and wrong. When he realises he has magic as well, he can’t confess, as his father kills those who have magic, but meeting Zelie, he is not so sure anymore of what really is happening in his kingdom, and has to make a decision on whose side he wants to be.
‘’The truth cuts like the sharpest knife I’ve ever known.’’
I loved how the story is focused on both worlds:
The world of Zelie and Tzain, where they live in small town with their father, they have to pay incredible amount of diviner tax, and the taxes get more and more expensive, and become impossible to be paid, so people have to go and do free labor for the king, never to be free again. They are faced with such unfairness and cruelty, but their families and the people in the village are sticking together to survive through everything.
And then we have the world of Amari and Inan, and the King. A world where magic is forbidden and all people that can use magic are being slaughtered. A world where being fierceless and cruel means that you are strong enough to lead a kingdom, and protect Orisha.
The only remark I have on this book were the acknowledgements. As much as I respect that story being told, and appreciate it with all my heart, I also really wished I haven’t read that part as it changed the story in the end for me, in a negative way. As I truly believe that every single person has the ability of magic in themselves. Every single person is powerful, and we all should be Diviners! And Inan having the ability himself proves my point on this as well.
A story about the battle of magic and friendships, a story about wins and losses, a world where magic lives in every single one of us. A world where we all belong. A masterpiece, this is. And a powerful one as well.
Nicholas Sparks is the romance genius. He is able to create stories of people falling in love, like no author I have read a book from yet. He puts so much emotion and feeling into the pages, that after one of his books, reading another romance seems boring.
Having read almost all of his books, I decided to finish all the ones I haven’t read, and when I suddenly encountered this one in the library, I told myself – ‘’Hey, why not?’’
The synopsis was intriguing, as all of his books are, but unlike the others, Nights in Rodanthe left me disappointed. With his books – this was the first time I ever felt like that. And that is why I need to mention this.
First of all, the story is very predictable. Too predictable – even. I knew what was going to happen from the very first chapters, and I was expecting at least a little bit of a plot twist, but nothing really happened.
Secondly, the romance was fake. The falling in love part? I didn’t see it. I just can’t imagine people falling in love in three days. I am sorry – but it is impossible. Crush, interest, lust, someone paying attention to you, and you feeling goosebumps – I can understand it all. But in three days, I can’t imagine anyone falling so deeply for one another, that you can’t look at another person ever again, and they are all you think about, all day.
Honestly – how well can you get to know a person in three days? Will you get to know the real person? When you’ve never seen them sad, angry, how they behave in company, how they behave when drunk, when upset, when they are doing daily chores, like going at work (note – this all happened while they were sort-of on vacation).
I can remember how many summers I have spent going on vacation for ten days, and thinking I was in love with someone. I am sure you have gone through the same.
So, knowing all this above, I just couldn’t feel for these people as I used to feel with many from Sparks’s characters in other books. And don’t judge me, that this would be the sole reason why I rate this book the way I do. After all, it’s a romance novel.
On the other side though – it is an emotional novel. If you, for a moment forget how fast this romance happened and how unreal it is, the story is going to deeply hurt your soul, and crush you into pieces. Fake romance or not, you are going to shed a few tears for sure. To wrap this up – I didn’t like it. I am not into fake, impossible romance. But this book seems to be a hit or miss, so if you like Nicholas Sparks – I still encourage you to read it. You never know, it might be your favourite book from him so far.
❤ Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf. ❤ Order on ascending date added. ❤ Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books. ❤ Read the synopsis of the books. ❤ Decide: keep it or should it go
I don’t usually read and review these types of books. I am not the kind of person that reads help books for pleasure. When I need information, I usually only read something I need at the moment, learn a lot about it, and then let go. I don’t go out and buy books for it.
But, with this book, it was different.
For some of you, that know me better, I used to train karate since I was a child. My father was my coach, and I trained hard, more than four days a week. I was a national champion for 8 years, I went on Balkan, Regional and European Championships, the sport enabling me to travel in more than 15 countries, explore the world and make countless number of friends along the way.
And in my whole journey, there were many experts surrounding me. Firstly, my father, who was my coach, showing me the karate world and teaching me everything I know today. Along his side, other coached, psychologists, gym experts, and nutritionists.
‘’The field of sport nutrition practice is both a science and an art.’’
When it comes to nutrition, it is so easy to get it all wrong, while you think you are doing something healthy to your body. It is so easy to mix good with bad fats, and thinking you eat healthy, to get away from your goal and become disappointed. And that is the sole reason why we need people that really know their nutrition, and dedicate their lives to learning what each ingredient does to our body.
This book focuses on nutrition for sports people. A way of life and healthy eating, while you spend a lot of energy exercising. I could easily relate to this, as I myself have been through all of these phases, of being dehydrated, of needing more fat, of needing more protein and vitamins in my body, without even realising it.
‘’When females perform high-intensity training, their need for carbohydrate is easily as high as that of a male athlete, and they have just as much capacity to utilize and store carbohydrate as a male athlete.’’
In this book, you will find explanations on all subjects that are often asked, you will know what builds muscle, what fuels it. Many popular issues will be covered as well, such as the gluten problem that many people face this days.
I loved the section about fats, as I have been introduced to the keto diet recently, and it was good to read and learn more about how fats work in your body, and what happens when you burn them.
I enjoyed the snack and workout plans, that are also split depending on what you want to achieve, whether that be building muscle, losing fat, or power eating.
‘’Research on sport nutrition in female athletes has long been neglected, but now there is breakthrough scientific knowledge that is changing the game of female athletes, including young girls.’’
If you love working out, and love your healthy food – this is a great book to have along your side, and come back to it from time to time, to remind yourself of everything your body is capable of doing, if you treat it right.
Awaken is book 2 from the Northern Witch Series. Read my review for Winter Trials, book one in the series.
I have enjoyed reading the first book, and I was so eager to get to the second one. This is a story about a young boy Mark and his grandma, who is a witch. This is also a story about Damien, a new guy in town, in which Mark falls in love with.
The second book starts where the first book left off. Mark and Damien have feelings for each other, but Damien is a danger to himself and others, and grandma will try to fix this with her power.
The book is a short and fast read. It is fast-paced, and I kept spinning the pages intensely. It brings you the feelings of home, and winter times, and family moments, and high-school memories. It has all the good vibes put together neatly.
The high-school romance was an addition to the book, and it was a pleasure to read. I enjoyed it a lot, even though we didn’t see as much romance in this book as we do in book one.
And then, there is the word ‘’Dunno.’’ A word that I don’t really mind, unless it’s used too often. And it bothered me, I will admit it.
But then, there was Nanna – a character full of light and power that pierces through. A character full of wittiness, giving life to each scene unlike any character can. A woman I so greatly admire, for her love and dedication to the family, and unconditional love and teaching towards her grandchild.
I read about magic, and high-school, more about high-school than magic. I wish there were more romance scenes, and was terrified when the book finished the way it did. I was afraid, and happy, and excited and sad, and not to forget, annoyed, but this book gave me all the right feels at times, and all the wrong ones too.
It has never been harder to judge a book in-between this space of annoyance and love, and I am struggling. But I love Nanna too much.
I would recommend you to read this (or the first book in the series, if you haven’t yet). If you enjoy LGBT high-school romance and witchcraft adventures, this one will be a pleasurable read for you.
Thank you to the author, K.S. Marsden, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.