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BOOK REVIEW| Children of Virtue & Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi

How expectant and excited are you when you’re about to read a sequel?

Children of Virtue & Vengeance is the second installment of a trilogy about the legacy of the kingdom of Orïsha, by Tomi Adeyemi.  I was excited to find out what became of Zélie, Amari, and Inan, and I jumped right into reading it as soon as I got my hands on it.

The story begins with the aftermath of magic being back in Orïsha. Though the maji clan is happy they are able to wield magic, it hasn’t necessarily provided the solutions they hoped for because the ritual was more powerful than they knew. A new group of people called titans are now able to wield magic too and among them is the Queen who desires to see every maji and her daughter, Amari rot. The powers of the titans seem stronger and they have combined forces with the military to destroy every living maji in Orïsha.

We are introduced to a blend of new characters and a full representation of the entire maji clan.  Zélie unites with her clan and she transcends to the position of an Elder. She has her own pack; the Reapers, to protect and though she was scared and felt undeserving, she still managed to lead her people to war against the monarchy. Her bravery, growth, and resilience were admirable through and through.

It was refreshing to read that in the midst of all the chaos and war, love still reigned. The love the maji have for their own is unfathomable and this radiates through every plan, every fight, every loss, and every win. We get to enjoy the love story between Tzain and Amari––I had been waiting for this since the first book. There was also the understandable bond that grew from friendship, attraction, and then to love between Roen and Zélie. Let’s not forget the sibling love between Tzain and Zélie that reminds us that blood is thicker than water. 

Children of Virtue and Vengeance is full of new discoveries about the kingdom as well as the characters. Secrets are revealed, promises are broken, lives are lost, new magic is discovered, alliances are chosen, the dead are awoken, and above all, fear is conquered. And just when it felt like the maji’s prayers of defeating the monarchy finally got answered, the story takes an unexpected turn and then it ended.

I waited too long to read this book and I expected way more than I got. The first book was captivating, the plot was intriguing, the character arc was compelling and I couldn’t stop raving about it. However, I got lost while reading the second book. The names of the additional characters became confusing, the new powers they had was overwhelming, the plot was dragging, and the many setbacks were unnecessary. I didn’t feel their pain, their challenges, their purpose, and their fight like I did with Children of Blood and Bone and I must admit I got a tad bit concerned and frustrated.

I’m still looking forward to reading the third book because I’m curious to see how the story ends.

Have you read Children of Virtue and Vengeance?

Mariam Shittu

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