The Children of Blood and Bone author chats exclusively with InStyle about part two.

By Caroline Shannon-Karasik
Jan 14, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
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Courtesy Of Tomi Adeyemi 

When Tomi Adeyemi released Children Of Blood And Bone in March 2018, she had one very specific mission for the first book in the trilogy of novels she planned to write: “Write a story that’s so good and so black that everyone’s going to have to read it — even if they’re racist,” Adeyemi told Entertainment Weekly in April 2018.

And that she did — Children of Blood And Bone debuted in the number one spot on the New York Times young-adult best-seller list. Adeyemi also reportedly scored a seven-figure book advance and movie deal with Fox 2000 and Temple Hill Productions for the series, according to The Atlantic, which described the series as “fantasy meets Black Lives Matter.”

“Adeyemi’s tale of young visionaries navigating a twisted world is psychologically deft and mostly well paced, an excellent bet to live up to the high expectations of it,” the publication noted. It’s no wonder fans of the novel have been chomping at the bit — and at Adeyemi’s social media accounts — asking for the second installment. Well, they can now put a date on their calendars, and ready their credit cards for the preorder.

Children of Virtue and Vengeance the highly-anticipated second book in the trilogy is set to hit stores on June 4, 2019, and Adeyemi is exclusively chatting with InStyle about everything you need to know about the Children Of Blood And Bone book two release date, including what to expect, and what iconic author Toni Morrison had to do with her putting words on the page.

“This was the story I dreamed of having.”

For the 25-year-old author, the idea for the young adult series was her response to something that she noticed was missing in the genre.

“Toni Morisson said ‘if there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it,’” Adeyemi says. “That's what Children of Blood And Bone was for me.”

And so began the story of 17-year-old Zélie Adebola, who lives in the kingdom of Orïsha, where divîners — people like her mother — are free to use their magical abilities. Some, like the Tiders, can beckon waves, while others, like Zélie’s mother, can summon forth souls. But when the magic disappears and a ruthless king kills Zélie’s mother, it’s Zélie who is tasked with the bringing back the magic, along with striking out against the monarchy.

Children of Blood and Bone is at once a sweeping, timeless, West African-inspired fantasy and a story in which scene after powerful scene speaks to the racism and violence Black Americans face today,” writer Nicole Chung wrote in an interview for Shondaland.com.

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It would seem readers and reviewers alike agreed. Since it’s March 2018 release, Children Of Blood And Bone has spent 44 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list for Young Adult Hardcover. In a recent Instagram post, Adeyemi wrote of her longevity on the list, noting: “A lot of insane things happened this year, but for me this is the craziest. Since the day it came out, you guys kept #childrenofbloodandbone on this list and I can’t even find the right emojis to convey how much that means.”

Adeyemi tells InStyle: “This was the story I dreamed of having as a girl and it's immensely personal, so it still blows my mind the way it's being embraced by the entire world.”

It’s true — Children Of Blood And Bone brought “so many surreal moments,” Adeyemi said, from her appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, “to Kobe Bryant telling me he loved my book, to Lin Manuel-Miranda holding it in his hands!” But all of those big moments aside, Adeyemi says it was a book fair in The Netherlands where she first realized things had changed for her book.

“The Dutch version of CBB had only been out for a month, so I wasn't expecting much, but at my signing hundreds of kids lined up,” Adeyemi says. “They brought me candles and tea inspired by the world of Orïsha. They drew incredible art. One reader told me about a family member she'd lost the week before, and how my story had helped her through it.”

She continued: “I couldn't even pronounce my own title in Dutch, yet they'd embraced the story I wanted as little girl with love. That moment taught me how stories and art can truly change the world.”

“I think about my readers with every word I write.”

As for Children of Virtue and Vengeance, Adeyemi says fans can expect to “find the same passion, adventure, and excitement that they loved in book 1.”

“I think about my readers with every word I write, and I'm so excited to keep working hard and give them another adventure with Children of Virtue and Vengeance,” she said.

Hopefully, readers can also find some answers to that cliffhanger ending.

Children of Blood and Bone ends at the height of its climax; I gasped as I read the last sentence and realized how much more is still to come, and how the next book will likely dial up the subversion of our expectations,” NPR’s Caitlyn Paxson wrote in a review of the book. “All I can do is mark my calendar to pre-order the sequel, and I predict most readers will do the same.”

Adeyemi says what she’s enjoyed most about writing Children of Virtue and Vengeance “is the ability to expand my world.”

“I can't wait for people to meet the new characters, experience the new magic, and dive deeper into the enchanting world of Orïsha,” she said. “I've had so much fun writing this story, so I can't wait to share it with everyone else!”