“Children of Anguish and Anarchy” Review

A young black woman is on the cover looking backwards over her shoulder. She is wearing a silver and gold head covering that covers part of her face. The title is shown at the bottom of the cover and the author's name at the top.Full title: “Children of Anguish and Anarchy: Legacy of Orïsha No. 3”
Written by Tomi Adeyemi
Published by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, June 2024
368 pages
Completed June 29, 2024

When Zélie seized the royal palace that fateful night, she thought her battles had come to an end. The monarchy finally fell. The maji rose again. Zélie never expected to find herself locked in a cage and trapped on a foreign ship. Now warriors with iron skulls traffic her and her people across the seas, far from their homeland.

But everything changes when Zélie meets King Baldyr, her true captor and the man who has ravaged entire civilizations to find her. The ruler of the Skulls, Baldyr’s quest to harness Zélie’s strength sends Zélie, Amari, and Tzain searching for allies in foreign lands.

But as Baldyr closes in, catastrophe charges Orïsha’s shores. It will take everything Zélie has to face her final enemy and save her people before the Skulls annihilate them for good.

I really enjoyed this book! I didn’t mind the shift in plot away from Orïsha because it made sense there was more going on beyond the borders. I did feel like some ideas could have been built up a little more but the world building was still interesting. The ending did feel a little abrupt but overall I liked the story it told. It’s been a little too long since I read the previous two books so I’m not sure yet how I feel about it as the conclusion to the trilogy. I’ll have to read all three books again at some point.