Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi Read Online (FREE)
Originally published: March 6, 2018
Author: Tomi Adeyemi
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Genres: Novel, Fantasy, Young adult fiction, Fantasy Fiction, High fantasy
Awards: Goodreads Choice Awards Best Debut Goodreads Author, Audie Audiobook of the Year
Read Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi full novel online free here.
I try not to think of her.
But when I do, I think of rice.
When Mama was around, the hut always smelled of jollof rice.
I think about the way her dark skin glowed like the summer sun, the way her smile made Baba come alive. The way her white hair fuzzed and coiled, an untamed crown that breathed and thrived.
I hear the myths she would tell me at night. Tzain’s laughter when they played agbön in the park.
Baba’s cries as the soldiers wrapped a chain around her neck. Her screams as they dragged her into the dark.
The incantations that spewed from her mouth like lava. The magic of death that led her astray.
I think about the way her corpse hung from that tree.
I think about the king who took her away.
It’s all I can do not to scream. I dig my nails into the marula oak of my staff and squeeze to keep from fidgeting. Beads of sweat drip down my back, but I can’t tell if it’s from dawn’s early heat or from my heart slamming against my chest. Moon after moon I’ve been passed over.
Today can’t be the same.
I tuck a lock of snow-white hair behind my ear and do my best to sit still. As always, Mama Agba makes the selection grueling, staring at each girl just long enough to make us squirm.
Her brows knit in concentration, deepening the creases in her shaved head. With her dark brown skin and muted kaftan, Mama Agba looks like any other elder in the village. You would never guess a woman her age could be so lethal.
“Ahem.” Yemi clears her throat at the front of the ahéré, a not-so-subtle reminder that she’s already passed this test. She smirks at us as she twirls her hand-carved staff, eager to see which one of us she gets to defeat in our graduation match. Most girls cower at the prospect of facing Yemi, but today I crave it. I’ve been practicing and I’m ready.
I know I can win.
Mama Agba’s weathered voice breaks through the silence. A collective exhale echoes from the fifteen other girls who weren’t chosen. The name bounces around the woven walls of the reed ahéré until I realize Mama Agba’s called me.
Mama Agba smacks her lips. “I can choose someone else—”
“No!” I scramble to my feet and bow quickly. “Thank you, Mama. I’m ready.”
The sea of brown faces parts as I move through the crowd. With each step, I focus on the way my bare feet drag against the reeds of Mama Agba’s floor, testing the friction I’ll need to win this match and finally graduate.