Children’s books round-up: fantasy epics to the fore

A 16-year-old’s struggles to restore magic to her kingdom and a bewitching blend of thriller and fantasy are among the week’s stand-out titles

Film adaptations, of everything from The Hunger Games to John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, have boosted young adult fiction sales for the past decade. Tomi Adeyemi’s debut, Children of Blood and Bone (Macmillan £7.99), is the latest to attract Hollywood’s attention. In the fantastical land of Orïsha, a 16-year-old girl is her people’s only hope to restore magic and overthrow the oppressive ruling classes. Infused with the rich mythology of west Africa, Adeyemi’s lush world-building and consummate plotting breathes new life into the YA fantasy epic. Themes of oppression and racism resonate all too strongly in today’s political climate. The cliffhanger ending may leave some readers reeling but, rest assured, this is first in a trilogy.

Melissa Albert’s The Hazel Wood (Puffin £7.99) is ...