Children of Blood and Bone – the story so far

It began with Children of Blood and Bone and it ends with Children of Anguish and Anarchy. As the final book in the Legacy of Orïsha trilogy arrives on our shelves, we recap the story so far.

Tomi Adeyemi's bestselling YA fantasy series comes to its epic conclusion with new novel Children of Anguish and Anarchy. Here, we answer your questions on the series so far. (Warning: there are some spoilers for the earlier books below.) 

What is the Children of Blood and Bone series about?

Set in the mythical African kingdom of Orïsha – a land long oppressed by its monarchy – the series charts Zélie’s quest to restore magic to the land’s ancient clans and overthrow their oppressive rulers. In Orïsha the maji – those that have magic powers – have been treated as second class citizens for years following the massacre; a kingdom-wide genocide which wiped out magic, carried out by the king's army. Those that still do have magic hide their powers, for fear of a return from King Saran’s troops. After a chance encounter leads Zélie to discover that magic is not dead – only dormant – and that she is the only one who can bring it back, she embarks on a journey to reawaken the ancient magic of the clans.

Do you need to read the books in order?

Yes, you’ll get more out of the books if you read them in order: Children of Blood and Bone, followed by Children of Virtue and Vengeance, and then final book Children of Anguish and Anarchy.

What happens in Children of Blood and Bone?

In Children of Blood and Bone Zélie has a chance to bring back magic to her people and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, she learns to harness her powers and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to come to terms with the strength of her magic – and her growing feelings for an enemy. . .

What happens in Children of Virtue and Vengeance?

After successfully bringing magic back to the land or Orïsha, Zélie must now deal with the consequences. The ritual was more powerful than they could've imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too, and civil war is on the horizon. 

What is the new book about?

In Children of Anguish and Anarchy, Zélie finds herself being trafficked across the sea, far from the homeland she has worked so hard to save. She is met by King Baldyr, her true captor and the man who has ravaged entire civilizations to find her. The ruler of the Skulls, Baldyr’s quest to harness Zélie’s strength sends her searching for allies in foreign lands. But as Baldyr closes in, catastrophe charges Orïsha’s shores. It will take everything Zélie has to face her final enemy and save her people before the Skulls annihilate them for good.

When is Children of Anguish and Anarchy coming out?

Children of Anguish and Anarchy, the final book in the series, is out in the UK on 25 June 2024.

What inspired the Children of Blood and Bone series?

The series has a West African-inspired setting and the author has described it as “an allegory for the modern black experience.” In an interview with Refinery29 she said “Every obstacle in this book is based off something in the real world, because that’s the other thing about fantasy. This is something that Black people are dealing with today, or as recently as thirty years ago. It’s this big fantasy, but it’s meant to be this glaring mirror.” 

What age is Children of Blood and Bone aimed at?

The series is aimed at young adult readers. 

Who is Tomi Adeyemi?

Tomi Adeyemi is a Nigerian-American writer and was just twenty-four when Children of Blood and Bone was published. After graduating from Harvard University with an honors degree in English literature, she studied West African mythology, religion, and culture in Salvador, Brazil. In 2020, she was named one of Forbes 30 Under 30 in Media.

Is Children of Blood and Bone being turned into a film?

Paramount Pictures own the film rights to Children of Blood and Bone, and the latest news is that Gina Prince-Bythewood is on board as director.