I teach you to be warriors in the garden so you will never be gardeners in the war.” Tomi Adeyemi, Children of Blood and Bone
You’ve read Harry Potter, right? Or at least seen the movies? Do you remember when they began training to fight? Dumbledore’s Army, they called themselves. Led by Harry, Ron, and Hermione, students learned how to defend themselves against the dark arts. They learned how to fight. A war was coming, and they all knew it. Which side of right would they stand on? Which side of justice would they claim as theirs?
Rowling wasn’t the first to train children to fight the injustices of the world, be they real or fictional, and she won’t be the last – child warriors are at the very core of Dystopian literature. This has all been done before. Stanley Kubrick once said: “Everything has already been done. Every story has already been told. Every scene has been shot. It’s our job to do it one better.”
It is quite the remarkable novel, but it is not without its flaws. The love story, half-assed and out of place, was an insult. This was not, nor should it have been, a struggle of the heart. This novel would have been stronger without that pesky Romeo & Juliet story line. Trust me. Inan’s conflict should never have been with Zelie. It was always with himself, sweet Amari, and his father. Always. That story is written on their skin, in their blood.
But that grimace-worthy love aspect was but a hiccup in an otherwise remarkable debut novel. I don’t want to spoil this novel, because this is the type of novel you wish you could read for the first time over and over again. I want you to devour it. Inhale it.
It’s time to put Harry Potter aside and join the magi uprising. This is what we’ve been waiting for.

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