"It's Like Black Panther, But With Magic:" Tomi Adeyemi on Writing the Most Anticipated Sci-Fi Novel of the Year

The young Nigerian-America author discussed her highly-anticipated literary debut 'Children of Blood and Bone' on Good Morning America.

At just 24, Tomi Adeyemi has already made her mark on the literary world.

Her debut novel, Children of Blood and Bone, was picked up by Fox 2000 almost a year ahead of its release, earning the writer a seven figure deal—one of the most lucrative deals ever for a young adult writer.

Now the highly-anticipated book is here. Adeyemi made on appearance on Good Morning America on Wednesday to discuss the its release, the process of writing the book, and the Nigerian influences in her novel, referring to it as "Black Panther but with magic."


"We have like Lord of the Rings we have Harry Potter we have these stories that we love, but usually in the same setting," says the author. "So this time we're gonna get to see the same adventures that we love but in a completely different setting with completely new magic and characters."

Watch the interview below, via ABC News.

Her novel is one of the most talked about releases of the year, and it has already garnered rave reviews. It's currently a number one bestseller on Amazon.

Here's the full synopsis via Adeyemi's website:

"Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie's Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and for her enemies."

You can read and excerpt of from the novel, here.

The author captured the hearts of many, including sci-fi legend Stephen King, when a video of her unpacking her book for the first time went viral last month.

On International Women's Day, we celebrate Adeyemi and her massive success. Her dedication to championing African narratives and representation for young black readers is truly inspiring.

Children of Blood and Bone is available everywhere now.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

How Nigerian Streetwear Brand, Daltimore, is Rising To Celebrity Status

We spoke with founder and creative director David Omigie about expression through clothing and that #BBNaija pic.