Now, I love books but film is where my heart is really at and I absolutely cannot wait to see the visual re-imagining of this book. The story and the magic therein is so complex and vast that it inspires the most vivid and large-scale images possible. This movie will be the biggest opportunity for Hollywood to search for African talent to cast in a major blockbuster since Black Panther. I mean, the book got a movie deal before it was even published! So you know it’s going to be epic.
This West African story by Tomi Adeyemi follows a young lady named Zelie as she tries to restore magic to her country after the King Saran kills off most of her tribe and bans them from praying to any gods in which he does not believe. Zelie is a diviner (a person of magic ability) and learns to discover what she is truly capable of throughout this journey. She joins efforts with some interesting characters, including her brother Tzain and thePrincess of Orisha, Amari.
Zelie’s memories of the years before King Saran’s genocide of her people describe the beauty of the country before diviners, people of magic ability and believers of the older ways were stripped of their dignity.In the story’s current time they are not only banned from all magical practice but are also seen as second class citizens and discriminated against.
I glanced at the first page of this book before bed, just to get a taste of the writing style and prepare myself to read it gradually thoughout the week. Big mistake. I got no sleep that night because once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. It doesn’t take long to get into the story and it is incredibly fast-paced so its very easy to immediately get hooked. I don’t know if its my love for the fantasy fiction genre or my curiosity about how this fantasy set in Africa was going to unfold, but I could not put this book down.
There’s nothing that makes more sense than this narrative.If there’s any place in the world that’s going to be depicted as a place of ancient wisdom, mystery and magic, it has to be Africa. The deep history of this continent, before its colonial interruption, is filled with stories of higher spirituality, magic and a very direct connection with God that allowed us to heal ourselves with the natural elements around us. This story captures the essence of the untold African narrative that highlights the spirit of a continent who’s magic has been stripped away from its people and it gives life to the voice of the people who want to bring it back.
My favourite character may not be a popular choice but I actually really enjoyed reading Prince Inan’s story because he is the most conflicted character in the book and he is a perfect reflection of the conflict that is taking place in the country. The most inspiring character, though, has to be Princess Amari. We get to see her grow from a very sheltered naïve character into someone who learns to truly believe in herself and her divine purpose. The sibling relationships in this story are so beautiful that I couldn’t help giving my own brother several hugs after reading it.
The plot is very complex and dynamic, with many several stories intertwining with each other, making it an interesting read as you get a chance to see different perspectives of everything that is happening. The main character, Zelie, is an extreme Girl Boss. She is proud of what she is and fights very hard for what she believes in. She strives to protect her family and her people by any means necessary. There is so much love in this story and it really stays with you long after the last page – it made me want more. I’m already very excited for the sequel.
Girl Boss rating: 9/10