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1-Page Summary of Children of Blood and Bone
Zélie Adebola, a teenage girl with white hair and the ability to do magic, practices fighting. Zélie is one of the divîners—people who have lost their connection to the gods after a massacre perpetrated by King Saran. The guards are there ostensibly to protect her family but actually pose a threat because they treat people like second-class citizens.
Tzain interrupts Zélie’s space practice, telling her to go home because their father was upset after an encounter with the guards. When they get there, Baba explains that the government levies high taxes on Divîners (those who possess special abilities such as seeing future outcomes), making it economically impossible for members of this group to fight back against genocide. So Tzain and Zélie want to trade goods at a market in Lagos City in order to pay off part of their father’s tax burden.
Meanwhile, Princess Amari is at the palace with her mother, enduring her usual criticism. Although she feels stifled by her life and would like to pursue an independent path, whenever she does try to rebel against tradition or express herself, someone in a position of authority (usually her mother) steps in and puts a stop to it. She finds comfort only in Binta, one of the servants hired for cleaning duties. Realizing that Binta is missing from their room one day when she’s supposed to be there preparing it for nighttime prayers, Amari sneaks into the throne room and discovers a terrible sight: Admiral Kaea forces Binta to touch a scroll that activates her magical ability, which results in colorful light pouring out of Binta’s hands. The King immediately stabs through her chest with his sword before anyone can react. Later on, during lunchtime, Amari steals the scroll from where it was being kept as evidence by Admiral Kaea’s assistant, then disguises herself so no one will recognize who stole it. After escaping the palace successfully without getting caught, she runs off into town while avoiding being seen by others.
Amari, a young girl from the desert city of Daevar, is traveling to the coastal city of Emelan with her brother Inan. She and her sister Amira are seeking help from Zélie in a desperate situation. They have been attacked by bandits who stole their mother’s book of magic and kidnapped Amira. The two girls run into Zélie on their way down the road to Emelan. After some convincing, they agree to help each other out while trying not to get caught by anyone else along the way. When they reach Emelian City, however, it becomes clear that something bigger than any one of them has plans for all three girls—and those plans may end up putting everyone’s lives at risk if they aren’t careful.
Inan and some guards arrive at the city, set fire to it, and cause chaos. Zélie barely escapes with her life. She travels with Tzain and Amari in search of Chândomblé temple where they can find help. Inan is worried that he may be infected by magic as a white streak appears in his hair.
Zélie, Tzain and Amari arrive at the temple of Chândomblé. They meet Lekan, a priest who is the last surviving member of his order. He tells them that they need to bring three artifacts—the scroll, dagger and sunstone—to an island for a ceremony on the day of the solstice to restore magic in their land. The group leaves with Lekan’s blessing but are attacked by Inan and Kaea, who murder him. However, Zélie and her friends escape through a rope bridge over a chasm while Inan and Kaea are left behind at the temple without any way to follow them.
Zélie, Amari, and Tzain arrive at a town in the desert. There’s an arena there where nobles force divîners to fight to the death for a mysterious prize. The three learn that it is actually the sunstone they need to perform their ritual. They decide that entering the competition would be their only chance of getting it. It’s incredibly difficult, but eventually they win and secure the last artifact needed for their ritual.