by Tomi Adeyemi
When a strange girl grabs Zelie in the capital city’s market and begs her help to escape, Zelie is pulled against her will into a war to save magic and empower her people, who have been oppressed almost to the point of genocide. Can she learn to harness her own magic in time? Can she save those she loves?
This book is insanely powerful. The writing is incredible; the characters are intense and so, so real. I loved so much about it. Seeing oppression, cruelty, and racism in this context brought so many things home to me in a whole new way—it was a strong kick to my privilege. Downsides: there is a ton of blood, death, and violence, so if you’re squeamish, it may not be your cup of tea. Also, though I loved most of the book, certain events (which I saw coming and wished they wouldn’t) soured the end for me. I don’t think I’ll read the sequel because of that.