This was my very first eARC (ARC being Advanced Reader’s Copy, in case you don’t know) from NetGalley. I received it months ago but only dove in because, well, Aldiko app sucks as a reading app. But now that I’ve finally read it, I realized no other book could’ve been more fitting for me to end this year, both as a reader and a book blogger.
Guys, this book comes out on March 2018 and I’d strongly strongly strongly recommend this book to be preordered. It’s one of the best young adult fantasy books I’ve read so far. The author is a darling (yes, I know her via Twitter, and I’d brag that she follows me back *squeal*). This book received a whooping yet deserving attention throughout American publishing industry and it deserves it all. The planned trilogy was sold for a whooping seven figure deal ($3millions to be exact) and got a movie deal to be produced by the producers of the Twilight Saga, The Fault in Our Stars and The Maze Runner. Fox 2000 got the film right, here’s the link:
Okay now I’ll start bragging about the story.
So this is the summary from Goodreads:
Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.
But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and 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 her growing feelings for the enemy.
If you’re a fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender and shipped Katara and Zuko, you’ll love this book. It has so much awesome similarities to that amazing series, gah!
If you’re a fan of The Hate U Give, you’ll love this book too. This book is almost the fantasy version of The Hate U Give, and the movement Black Lives Matter rings so true and so symbolically throughout this entire book! The author pitched this book as Avatar: The Last Airbender meets Black Lives Matter.
Also, if you’re a fan of Sarah J. Maas and loved Rhysand in the first book, you might find a character there who’ll remind you of him. But the most touching feature would be the relationship of Zélie, the protagonist, had with her later mother is similar to the one Tris shared with her mother in Divergent. Touching and deep.
If you’re still reading this review, then I’m sure I’ve got your attention. Now I’ll go to the elaboration.
This book is as fast paced as Divergent, with stakes as high and gripping as Hunger Games, An Ember in the Ashes and Harry Potter. Yup, I’ll go to that comparisons. It’s that good. The incidents are gripping and raw with emotions and so touching and tug at your heart! I’ve felt such whirlwind or such rollercoaster of emotions while reading this book. The last time it happened was reading An Ember in the Ashes and Forest of A Thousand Lanterns and A Court of Thorns and Roses.
So when this book will come out and you get it, be prepared to lock your heart somewhere far far away and read it with stone as your heart (though I doubt you’ll succeed lol)
There were three point of views in this book, Zélie, the protagonist and a maji (those blessed by the gods to be able to carry magic in their blood), Princess Amari (daughter of the king of the land) and Prince Inan (the secondary antagonist). Each of them were reasonable for all their actions and you cannot judge them too harshly for the rightness and wrongness of their choices and decisions.
She reminds me of Tris, Katniss, and Laia combined. She’s scared, confused, doubtful, stubborn, brave and resourceful. She’s so relatable and never once I felt stumbling along her narrative. She’s the Katara of this book in my opinion.
She’s the best princess character I’ve read so far. She provides a lot of angle Zélie can’t and thus shows us the story from a different angle. But despite not being the protagonist, her own story will tug you at heart and feel very relatable as well. She’s the Aang of this book, lol.
Hands down he’s the Zuko. Like Prince Zuko, he’s relentless to prove his worth as the rightful king and heir to the throne, always struggling to do the right thing. I liked him a lot at first but in the end, his questionable acts made a stopper to liking him for now. Maybe in the sequels.
They weren’t there to just prow the story forward. They all had their own stories to tell, their own goals and hopes and dreams and Ms. Adeyemi weaved them all so deftly into the story, I’m gobsmacked. Even the main antagonist, the cruel king, had his own stories to tell. Not a cardboard cutout of a great evil villain like the King of Hybern from ACOTAR series.
03) The Symbolism:
This story is so much symbolical to the police brutality the African Americans face regularly. Several times the situations and events of the story reminded me of The Hate U Give. For example, this line:
“Your people, your guards—they’re nothing more than killers, rapists, and thieves. The only difference between them and criminals is the uniforms they wear.”
Gosh, this line tugs so close to my heart. It immediately reminded me of Starr Carter and how she witnessed the death of her friend. It reminded me of all the brutal deaths the African Americans experience regularly without any justice. This book is the symbolic story of the oppression most African Americans often experience and fear. If you were a fan of The Hate U Give, then you’d love this book, trust me.
So my review just went crazy long but trust me, you need this book on your shelves and in your life. So fans of An Ember in the Ashes, Hunger Games, and The Hate U Give, preorder this beauty. You won’t regret it.
Thank you, NetGalley US and the publishers, Pan MacMillan, for granting me the fabulous opportunity to read and review the eARC of this mind blowing book.