I received this book for free from publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.Blood Scion by Deborah Falaye
Published by HarperCollins on March 8, 2022
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Diversity & Multicultural, Young Adult Fiction / Fantasy / Epic, Young Adult Fiction / Social Themes / Class Differences
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Bookshop
Also by this author: Blood Scion
“Equal parts soaring fantasy, heart-pounding action, and bloody social commentary, Blood Scion is a triumph of a book.” —Roseanne A. Brown, New York Times bestselling author of A Song of Wraiths and Ruin
This is what they deserve.
They wanted me to be a monster.
I will be the worst monster they ever created.
Fifteen-year-old Sloane can incinerate an enemy at will—she is a Scion, a descendant of the ancient Orisha gods.
Under the Lucis’ brutal rule, her identity means her death if her powers are discovered. But when she is forcibly conscripted into the Lucis army on her fifteenth birthday, Sloane sees a new opportunity: to overcome the bloody challenges of Lucis training, and destroy them from within.
Following one girl’s journey of magic, injustice, power, and revenge, Deborah Falaye’s debut novel, inspired by Yoruba-Nigerian mythology, is a magnetic combination of Children of Blood and Bone and An Ember in the Ashes.
Today is my stop on the Turn the Pages Book Tour for Blood Scion by Deborah Falaye. Thank you to the publisher for providing a gifted copy. Check out my review below.
Whew! This was a solid debut. It was also a tough subject to read about. But the world building and development of the story including the characterization of main character Sloane Shade made every word worth it.
The action is fast-paced. The military-centered world is dark. The concept of humanity is pitted against the concept of survival of the fittest. And on top of all of that it centers Yoruba mythology and lore.
Did I mention that it’s part of a duology?…
Humanity vs Survival
As part of the content warning, the author informs you that the story is “inspired by the real -life horrors endured by child soldiers.” I was a little wary to begin reading, because I actually learned about child soldiers in the newsroom when I was an intern for the online component of a news magazine. At the time, war was raging in Liberia and the images coming across the wire were those of child soldiers. I never got over the image of what must have been a 13 year old kid with a machine gun and a teddy bear backpack on.
Deborah Falaye builds brilliant complicated layers into Blood Scion. The struggle for one’s humanity in the midst of a dark and bloody fight for one’s survival is an ongoing theme throughout the book. Some might call Sloane’s actions morally grey, but it’s an interesting issue to dive into with the characters. What’s more forgivable to kill and survive in order to help others or to abstain from killing as a form of honor and be killed yourself?
The fact that this story also centers children/15 year old teenagers brings in another what it means to have your humanity challenged at such a young age and to have your childhood stolen from you as part of that challenge. “Great soldiers are made from pieces of their broken selves, and the most vulnerable children are always the easiest to use, abuse, and destroy.” When I read that, I knew this was going to be a major dark fantasy.
The Next Black Girl Action Figure
Sloane is a determined young woman who learns not just how to survive but how to live in survival mode. I know you hear me talk about Black Girl Magic in a lot of my reviews, but…that is what I like to read about and this book hits the concept of Black Girl Magic on the dot. As she endures the journey after being conscripted, she must hone three things: her physical, mental and magical health. In a world ruled by Lucis, mistakes mean death. I’m not going to go into into, because of spoilers, but Miss Ma’am holds her own.
Allow me to snitch on myself for a brief moment. The tension is set up superbly in this book and I may have buzzed over a few paragraphs every now and then because I just had to know what or how a secret was going to go down. I promise I will go back! #Confessionsofanexcitedreader Anywho, that is just a clue as to how good the tension in this book is. There are secrets, betrayals, death, and loss. Everything you need for a suspense-filled novel is there.
Content Warnings: War, child soldiers, violence, sexual assault
Deborah Falaye is a Nigerian Canadian young adult author. She grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, where she spent her time devouring African Literature, pestering her grandma for folktales, and tricking her grandfather into watching Passions every night. When she’s not writing about fierce Black girls with bad-ass magic, she can be found obsessing over all things reality TV. Deborah currently lives in Toronto with her husband and their partner-in-crime yorkie, Major. Blood Scion is her first novel.