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Last Updated on August 5, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 551

The Children of Blood and Bone is primarily about two sets of siblings: Zélie and Tzain, and Amari and Inan.

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The book begins by focusing on Zélie and her family. Zélie has been taking lessons to learn how to fight from someone named Mama Agba. Mama Agba teaches these classes so that divîners like Zélie will have some way of defending themselves if they are attacked. Divîners are a special race of people that have latent magic powers. Once a divîner's power is activated, they become a maji.

Zélie's mother was a maji. However, 11 years ago, King Saran (who belongs to the racial group kosidán) conducted a genocide which killed all active maji and wiped out magic from the kingdom of Orïsha. Since then, divîners have been living in terrible conditions of fear and oppression, terrorized by the royal guards. Zélie's mother was killed in this raid.

Zélie's father Baba is alive and does not show any signs of magic. However, he has been shattered by his wife's death, and between his own mental problems and the unfair laws of the royal guards he is barely able to keep his family together. Zélie and her brother Tzain try to keep an eye on their father.

Baba is taxed at an unfair rate for an amount that he clearly cannot pay. He is threatened by the guards that he and his family will be imprisoned unless he can come up with the sum.

Zélie travels to the capital city in order to try and raise money for her family to pay the tax. While she is there, she runs into Amari, the princess of Orïsha.

Amari is also kosidán. However, she is running away from the palace because she has just witnessed her father's murder of her best friend, Binta. Binta was a divîner who worked in the palace, but when King Saran (Amar's father) made her touch a magic artifact, it awakened her power. King Saran killed her because he does not want magic...

(The entire section contains 551 words.)

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