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Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi
Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi  

In this follow-up to Children of Blood and Bone, Zélie and company are back and the future of Orďsha hangs in the balance. Zélie, now a maji Reaper, has achieved her goal and brought magic back to Orďsha, but at great cost. Grief and loss are strong themes throughout the book, compounded by guilt for Zélie, who feels responsible for her father's death. Zélie and her older brother, Tzain, try to help Princess Amari ascend the throne, believing her family dead--but Queen Nehanda, Amari's mother, is very much alive and more formidable than they could imagine. The trio join the Iyika, a band of rebel maji working to protect their persecuted people from threats new and old. Though the characters' trauma reads as real and understandable, their decisions don't always feel sensible or logical, often stemming from a lack of communication or forethought. Though still commendable for its detailed worldbuilding, with an ending compelling enough to keep fans interested in the next installment, much of the book feels like navigating minefields of characters' ill-advised decisions. All characters are black except for a secondary character with silky black hair, tan skin and gray eyes "like teardrops."

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