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.
There’s a specific delicious satisfaction to finding that a much-hyped book is everything it’s touted to be and more. After listening to all 18 hours of Tomi Adeyemi’s incredible debut sci-fi YA novel, I am beyond well satisfied. Building on a uniquely West African mythology, Adeyemi conjures up a vibrant, amazing fantasy world, in which magic once thrived, a segment of the population is grievously oppressed, and a young woman becomes the leader she was meant to be. Feisty teenager Zélie Adebola, who has seen her mother killed and her people crushed under the heel of a villainous king, knows that bringing back magic is the key to freeing them—all but she has no idea she’ll have to be the one to do it or the epic adventure that awaits. Bahni Turpin’s mastery of the accents expertly brings the wide array of characters to life, carrying you with Zélie and her crew across the physical and emotional landscapes that make this book so special.