We speak to the young Nigerian-American author of "Children of Blood and Bone" about the Yoruba themes in her book, colorism, asserting the power of blackness in fantasy and more.
Children of Blood and Bone is the fantasy novel we deserve.
The buzzed about literary debut of 24-year-old Nigerian-American writer Tomi Adeyemi creates a universe where black people are seen, and not just in the periphery way that we appear in many young adult fantasy novels. In Children of Blood and Bone, Hogwarts is traded in for a land called "Orisha," and the bespectacled, wand carrying white protagonist is instead a staff-totting black girl with silver tresses and magical powers.
It's the untold fantasy, transformative in the way it allows for African culture to take center stage. Children of Blood and Bone is brimming with references to Yoruba spirituality, language and tradition. Much like Black Panther—which Adeyemi, like all of us, is a major fan of—the book is another status-quo-defying work that places a black narrative, told from a black perspective, on a global platform. The two are constantly brought up in the same conversations due to their unmistakable blackness as well as their cultural and commercial success. Children of Blood and Bone is sitting comfortably at the top of the young adults best-sellers list where it has been since its release last month.