Children of Virtue and Vengeance is the sequel to the groundbreaking debut novel Children of Blood and bone from legendary author Tomi Adeyemi. It is the second book in the trilogy dubbed ‘Legacy of Orisha’. Because it is a sequel, it is almost impossible to read the second book without reading the first one. So before we go on, head on over and read her debut novel Children of Blood and Bone that we have already reviewed right HERE. As a summary, in the first book, we are introduced to Zelie Abedola, a young girl who is born into a somewhat lost culture of Maji, a lineage of people with the gift of magic. When she was still young, the people around her such as her family and friends were massacred because of who they were and the magic they wielded. This left her to grow up in total fear of her physique and her unique ability to use magic for the good of Orisha and its people.
Book two continues the story fro where the first one left us with Zelie, after having such a shattering loss, is fully focused on getting revenge on the monarchy. The twist, however, is Zelie and her people did not anticipate getting a stronger adversary who is actually more powerful than her, in terms of magic. This leaves Zelie with the challenging task of realizing the magic within her to give her the capacity to fight back and win or else she might again end up losing another person that she loves, or worse, have the entire Maji wiped out permanently.
Just like in the first book, Adeyemi moves the story reasonably fast, because of her unique ability to break down the book into short and efficiently consumable chapters. The book, while maintaining its thrill, still goes into the different Maji clans and their powers, the elders, and the history giving a good back story that both precedes and succeeds the first novel while maintaining a good flow and very great continuity. As you read through the book, you will often cringe at Zelie’s and Princess Amari’s decisions a number of times but that is what makes them human and helps them grow. Though their stubbornness often gets them into trouble, especially at the expense of the clan, they always learn from their mishaps giving them the human nature of doing mistakes and learning from them.
As initially stated, Children of Virtue and Vengeance is not a stand alone book and it is very difficult to just pick it up and read it on its own. You will enjoy it to its full potential if you are familiar with the first book and its plot and characters. The second book maintains the thrill of twists and turns of the first one but sadly does not entirely live up to Children of Blood and Bone. Writers, filmmakers, musicians, and other art creators often say that the second creation never outshines the first one and this is true for this book series. Though Children of Virtue and Vengeance does a superb job of telling a nice story, it really does not do such a great job as the first book. The ending was also a very suspenseful one and it sets the stage for a beautiful closure to a great trilogy. I am very sure that with the phenomenal writing prowess of Tomi Adeyemi, and her unique storytelling and visualization, we are in for a treat in the conclusion of this epic trilogy.