Children of Blood and Bone

Children of Blood and Bone

by

Tomi Adeyemi

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Mama Character Analysis

Tzain and Zélie’s mother and Baba’s wife was an extremely powerful Reaper, a maji with power of the dead. Although she possessed fearsome magic, she was also extremely kind, nurturing Zélie and Tzain and preparing Zélie for her future as a divîner. She was murdered in King Saran’s Raid—a deep scar that haunts her children.

Mama Quotes in Children of Blood and Bone

The Children of Blood and Bone quotes below are all either spoken by Mama or refer to Mama. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Prejudice and Inequality Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Henry Holt and Co. edition of Children of Blood and Bone published in 2018.
Chapter Seventy-One Quotes

The ache that cuts through me is sharper than the blade that cut through my back. It’s like losing Mama all over again.

Related Characters: Zélie (speaker), Mama
Page Number: 456
Explanation and Analysis:
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Mama Character Timeline in Children of Blood and Bone

The timeline below shows where the character Mama appears in Children of Blood and Bone. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Prologue
Faith and Tradition Theme Icon
Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
An unnamed narrator recounts white-haired Mama and they joyful home they once shared. The narrator remembers when Baba was chained and... (full context)
Chapter One
Prejudice and Inequality Theme Icon
Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
...they are fighting—which only excites fiery Zélie’s anger more. Ignoring the warnings of their teacher, Mama Agba, the two girls fly at each other with more passion, both landing powerful hits. (full context)
Prejudice and Inequality Theme Icon
Faith and Tradition Theme Icon
Suddenly, the match comes to a halt as a girl warns that guards are approaching. Mama Agba and the students swiftly hide the fighting materials and make it appear as if... (full context)
Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
When Zélie bursts out in protest, a guard threatens her. Mama Agba pays the guard, narrowly avoiding a confrontation. Afterwards, Mama Agba scolds Zélie, who says... (full context)
Prejudice and Inequality Theme Icon
Mama Agba begins to tell a familiar story: in the past, the land of Orïsha was... (full context)
Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
After the other students leave, Mama Agba holds Zélie back. She expects to be beaten for her impulsiveness, but instead, Mama... (full context)
Chapter Two
Prejudice and Inequality Theme Icon
Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
...hard labor, if he could not pay the taxes. Feeling scared and helpless, Zélie remembers Mama’s death. To make matters worse, Baba says that he lost the boat in his panic,... (full context)
Chapter Five
Duty to Family vs. Self Theme Icon
...knowing she will be killed if they are caught. But, thinking of her training with Mama Agba, she realizes she has a responsibility to help those who can’t defend themselves. (full context)
Duty to Family vs. Self Theme Icon
...back through the gates, expecting to be killed on the spot. She thinks of her mother. Suddenly, Nailah comes flying over the gate, Tzain astride her. Zélie and the girl clamber... (full context)
Chapter Seven
Faith and Tradition Theme Icon
...through her body. The sensation of magic in her veins makes her think of her mother, and she wonders if she might become a Reaper, with power over death, like her... (full context)
Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
Still, Zélie can’t help but imagine how things would have gone differently if her mother had possessed magic during the raid. She vividly imagines her mother using the power of... (full context)
Chapter Thirteen
Prejudice and Inequality Theme Icon
Duty to Family vs. Self Theme Icon
...and Zélie split off to trade the dress. As they walk, Amari asks if Zélie’s mother died in the raid. Zélie says yes. Amari begins to apologize, saying she understands why... (full context)
Chapter Eighteen
Faith and Tradition Theme Icon
...he asks her to tell the story. Telling the story reminds her powerfully of her mother. (full context)
Chapter Twenty-Nine
Faith and Tradition Theme Icon
...like she’s losing faith in herself. Tzain looks into her eyes and says that their mother was strong, and so is Zélie. Gathering her strength, she summons an animation of a... (full context)
Chapter Thirty-One
Duty to Family vs. Self Theme Icon
Faith and Tradition Theme Icon
...dwindle, but she knows she must save Amari and Tzain. Knowing she is disobeying her mother’s wishes, she decides to use blood magic to save the others. She bites into her... (full context)
Duty to Family vs. Self Theme Icon
Faith and Tradition Theme Icon
...time, she feels as if her skin is being torn apart. She thinks of her mother as water rushes into her lungs. (full context)
Chapter Forty-Eight
Prejudice and Inequality Theme Icon
Faith and Tradition Theme Icon
...attack the encampment, Zélie remembers the self-hatred she experienced after the Raid. She blamed her mother and magic for the tragedy. In time, she came to see the beauty in magic,... (full context)
Chapter Fifty-Five
Duty to Family vs. Self Theme Icon
Tzain says that he’s glad their mother didn’t live to see Zélie sink to this level, and her magic erupts. Using her... (full context)
Chapter Fifty-Six
Faith and Tradition Theme Icon
...a community who can breathe again for the first time. It reminds her of her mother. Amari tells her that she is a part of this joy, and she shouldn’t let... (full context)
Chapter Fifty-Eight
Duty to Family vs. Self Theme Icon
...when he calls her “little Zél,” she pulls away sharply. That was the name her mother called her. (full context)
Chapter Seventy-One
Faith and Tradition Theme Icon
Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
...Zélie with memories of the Raid because she feels as if she is losing her mother all over again. (full context)
Chapter Eighty
Duty to Family vs. Self Theme Icon
Faith and Tradition Theme Icon
Zélie remembers when her mother was killed in the Raid, when she swore never to let anything like this happen... (full context)
Chapter Eighty-Four
Duty to Family vs. Self Theme Icon
Faith and Tradition Theme Icon
...but of the blood and bone connecting her to the past. She thinks of her mother. She slashes open her palms with the bone dagger and presses them to the sunstone,... (full context)
Chapter Eighty-Five
Faith and Tradition Theme Icon
Zélie thinks of her mother as she floats through blackness to her mother’s voice. She sees a vision of Oya,... (full context)
Duty to Family vs. Self Theme Icon
Faith and Tradition Theme Icon
Zélie says they must bring Tzain there, so they can all be together. But Mama says it is not his time, nor is it Zélie’s. Orïsha still needs her. The... (full context)