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Book Review: Children of Virtue and Vengeance

Hello Readers & Friends,

I finally got around to finishing COVAV, after very much adoring Children of Blood and Bone early last year. I gave it 4* - though this may be a little stretch. Perhaps 3.5 is more accurate.

I found it a little bit slower to get into the action again, and some of the scenes with the magic were a tad hard to follow, but this may be because I was reading whilst crammed like a sardine on the tube underneath sweaty armpits rather than my preferable locations - in the bath surrounded by bubbles with a glass of wine or in my pink armchair with a cup of tea.

Regardless, I enjoyed the book, with it gripping me completely in the last 5 chapters or so. If it had been this way much earlier on it would have had a better review from me.

A quick summary: it is basically a continuation of Zelie's struggles from the first book, and a continuation of the Magi's fight against the monarchy for equal rights. For years the Magi (magical people) have been persecuted and attacked simply for existing, and Adeyumi has made very clear that this was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, which I feel very strongly about. The first book saw heroine Zelie fall in love with Prince Inan and on a mission to revive the power of the Magi in Orisha. This book explores what happens now that their power is back, and the war that commences against the monarchs.

Of course, we see Zelie's struggle after the betrayal of Inan in the last book, and she spends much of the story mourning her countless losses. This is why it was a little slow for me. As someone with depression, it got quite tireless reading again and again and again about how bad Zelie felt, and seeing her feeling bad. I do understand why Adeyumi did this and how she wanted to give Zelie's character a lot of depth, but for anyone who may be a little depressed already it can be quite a draining read. However, I really enjoyed her new budding relationship with Roen, who, if I'm honest, is a much more interesting and likeable character than stinky Inan The Betrayer anyway.

Amari, for me, became completely unlikable in this book. However, I feel that this was very much intended and this will be a classic Cardan from The Cruel Prince series situation, where readers either decide to love her despite her faults, to forgive her mistakes, or like me they will decide she's a bit of an ass and wipe their hands of her.

I enjoyed the twist at the end that we discovered about Inan's family history, and there are countless action-packed scenes full of magical fighting, which is always a plus for me. There were some very heartbreaking scenes towards the end that were emotional to read - not tear-provoking for me, but sad nonetheless.

As many reviewers have said on GoodReads, I didn't feel quite as gripped or enjoy this book as much as the first, but I am still looking forward to it's conclusion.

Love, C x


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