Title: Children of Virtue and Vengeance
Series Details: Legacy of Orïsha #2
Author: Tomi Adeyemi
Imprint: Henry Holt and Company
Release Date: December 03, 2019
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Blurb from Goodreads:
After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they could’ve imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too.
Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari’s right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy’s wrath.
With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart.
This second installment to the Legacy of Orïsha series proved that a book can suffer from “Middle Book Syndrome” and still come out entertaining. Although this wasn’t as awesome as the first book in the series, (I certainly have more than a couple of issues) this was still one hell of an emotional and bloody journey.
“We’re the children of the gods. If someone’s running away, it’s not going to be us.”
Children of Virtue and Vengeance is an angry book. There’s definitely more vengeance than virtue here. The characters are mostly driven by hate and revenge. That’s pretty much all they feel throughout the book. Mostly it is understandable because everyone is going through a rough period. Everything important to them is breaking—their friendship, their trust, their heart, their kingdom. But after some time, all the anger and intense desire to kill each other became a bit exhausting. I miss having characters that feels a whole lot of other emotions than just thirsting for each other’s blood.
Magic is finally restored in this book but Orïsha remains divided and broken. Zelie and Amari both want the same thing—to unify Orïsha so titans, maji, and kosidans can live together in peace—but they sure have very different ways of doing it. And while both of them had become strong enough to be leaders, I feel like they didn’t really grow. They’ve become stubborn and reckless. They wanted peace but their plans only includes bloodlust. They want to unite all of Orïsha but they themselves can’t even seem to communicate properly. And their arguments didn’t just add some more cracks to their friendship, it also puts them all in more difficult situations.
This book follows three POV’s and each made me feel different emotions. Zelie’s POV is packed with heart-wrenching moments. Children of Blood and Bone is the stronger book but it did not break my heart like this one does. With Amari there’s just no thinking outside of winning the throne and becoming queen to help Orïsha. Her intentions were good but her means of carrying out her plan just infuriates me. Then there’s Inan whose indecisiveness makes him even more annoying than he was before. Seriously, when will he be able to stick to his own decisions?
A few good supporting characters are introduced to us in this book—the maji Elders and a few members of their clans. I think they’re all awesome and holds a great potential, but sadly, they weren’t strongly fleshed-out. Most of the time I have trouble placing who’s who and who can do what. And of course there’s my guy—Roen. Dark and mysterious—yes. Reliable—can be. Loyalty—questionable. I love the guy but mostly because his character brings the much needed humor to the story—not because I care about the romance. To be honest, it felt dull.
The magic in this series keeps evolving which is awesome, but more explanations or backstories about certain things—like the origin of the titans’ magic—would have been nice. Why, when, and how did titan magic vanished before? Hopefully, there would be a wide explanation regarding this in the coming release.
More than anything, Children of Virtue and Vengeance shows what hate can do. How it clouds people’s judgments. It forces them to be reckless and make stupid decisions. It feeds more wood to the fire. It tears a kingdom apart. This didn’t fully lived up to my expectations and it took a very long time for me to find the connection that I once had with the characters. But this is still a decent follow-up to Children of Blood and Bone. Despite my issues it was still a nice read and I’m still invested in this series. The waiting game for the final installment is on.