Children of Blood and Bone

Children of Blood and Bone

by

Tomi Adeyemi

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Tzain Character Analysis

Tzain is Zélie’s older brother and Mama and Baba’s son. He is a level-headed, cautious boy who is also strong and fiercely loyal. Tzain’s first priority at all times is protecting his family. As a result, he is often exasperated by Zélie, who will sometimes take unnecessary risks or let her anger get the better of her. But he is sensitive and caring, too, and is far more patient with Amari than Zélie is. Despite the ways that King Saran has hurt Tzain and his family, Tzain feels compassion for Amari and understands that her father’s crimes are not hers.

Tzain Quotes in Children of Blood and Bone

The Children of Blood and Bone quotes below are all either spoken by Tzain or refer to Tzain. 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 Two Quotes

He wants to believe that playing by the monarchy’s rules will keep us safe, but nothing can protect us when those rules are rooted in hate

Related Characters: Zélie (speaker), Tzain
Page Number: 27
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Five Quotes

You must protect those who can’t defend themselves. Mama Agba’s words from this morning seep into my head.

Related Characters: Zélie (speaker), Amari, Tzain, Mama Agba
Page Number: 58
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Fifty-One Quotes

Zu’s tears make my own eyes prickle. Kwame’s face pinches with pain. I want to hate him for what he did to Tzain, but I can’t. I’m no better. If anything, I’m worse. If Inan hadn’t stopped me, I would’ve stabbed that masked divîner to death just to get answers.

Related Characters: Zélie (speaker), Amari, Inan, Tzain, Kwame, Zu
Page Number: 343
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Children of Blood and Bone LitChart as a printable PDF.
Children of Blood and Bone PDF

Tzain Character Timeline in Children of Blood and Bone

The timeline below shows where the character Tzain appears in Children of Blood and Bone. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter One
Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
...carved iron staff and tells her she has earned her graduation. Suddenly, Zélie’s older brother, Tzain, enters the tent and says they must go home to seer Baba, their father, immediately. (full context)
Chapter Two
Duty to Family vs. Self Theme Icon
Tzain and Zélie dash across the floating city of Ilorin. Tzain scolds Zélie for leaving their... (full context)
Prejudice and Inequality Theme Icon
...to a market in Lagos. Because it is dangerous for a divîner to go alone, Tzain says he will go with her. They saddle up Nailah, a huge lion-like creature with... (full context)
Chapter Four
Prejudice and Inequality Theme Icon
Duty to Family vs. Self Theme Icon
Barely speaking to one another, Zélie and Tzain arrive at the bustling capital city, Lagos. Tzain is angry that Zélie left home alone,... (full context)
Chapter Five
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...on the spot. She thinks of her mother. Suddenly, Nailah comes flying over the gate, Tzain astride her. Zélie and the girl clamber on. As Nailah leaps back over the fence,... (full context)
Chapter Seven
Prejudice and Inequality Theme Icon
Duty to Family vs. Self Theme Icon
Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
But Tzain worries that if Zélie has magic, she will be a target. He says they need... (full context)
Chapter Nine
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Zélie, Tzain, and Amari arrive at Mama Agba’s home in Illorin. They find Baba asleep there. Tzain... (full context)
Faith and Tradition Theme Icon
...with them all along. In the light, they see a vision of Amari, Zélie, and Tzain climbing a mountain with Nailah. Mama Agba says that Amari and Zélie are meant to... (full context)
Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
...of Illorin is ablaze. Zélie fights her way home through the chaos, desperate to find Tzain and Baba. When she can’t see them, but only their home in flames, she assumes... (full context)
Chapter Twelve
Faith and Tradition Theme Icon
Exhausted and scared, Zélie, Amari, and Tzain make camp for the night. In the dark, Zélie tentatively reaches out to Oya, the... (full context)
Chapter Thirteen
Prejudice and Inequality Theme Icon
Duty to Family vs. Self Theme Icon
Zélie is angry to see that Tzain gave Amari his cloak to use as a blanket. The trio decides to head to... (full context)
Prejudice and Inequality Theme Icon
Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
As Amari is changing, Tzain and Zélie catch a glimpse of a huge, ragged scar running down her back. Embarrassed,... (full context)
Chapter Fifteen
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Duty to Family vs. Self Theme Icon
As Amari, Tzain, and Zélie clamber up a mountainside, Amari reminisces about Binta. With a pang, she remembers... (full context)
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Leaving Nailah outside, the Zélie, Amari, and Tzain enter a metal temple that is still standing. In the dark passageway, their torches are... (full context)
Chapter Seventeen
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Amari, Tzain, and Zélie awake to find themselves tied together in a cave. Their weapons and the... (full context)
Chapter Eighteen
Faith and Tradition Theme Icon
Zélie, Amari, and Tzain follow the man down a dark passageway. Zélie knows he is a sêntaro, a kind... (full context)
Faith and Tradition Theme Icon
Lekan leads Zélie, Amari, and Tzain to a vast central chamber decorated with beautiful murals of the gods. As he speaks,... (full context)
Chapter Twenty
Faith and Tradition Theme Icon
Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
The group runs through the temple’s passageways, Tzain carrying a weakened Zélie. As they break outside, Zélie is overwhelmed by the magic she... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-Two
Prejudice and Inequality Theme Icon
Duty to Family vs. Self Theme Icon
Amari, Tzain, and Zélie have been traversing the desert for days now. As they walk, Amari remembers... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-Three
Prejudice and Inequality Theme Icon
Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
Tzain, Amari, and Zélie go to the arena that evening. Zélie can feel many deceased spirits... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-Five
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Zélie, Amari, and Tzain sneak into the backstage area of the arena. Zélie imagines bringing back a group of... (full context)
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...group of guards. When they see the door open, they start to beat him violently. Tzain tries to hold Zélie back, but she bursts out of their hiding place to stop... (full context)
Faith and Tradition Theme Icon
Outside town, Amari and Tzain argue that Zélie’s plan will never work. But she has a secret weapon—she says she... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-Seven
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Amari, Tzain, and Zélie board their boat. Secretly, Amari prays they won’t have to compete. The crew... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-Eight
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Everyone on the boat gets in position. Tzain tells Amari that she doesn’t have to fight. She’s tempted, but, thinking of Binta, Amari... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-Nine
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Overwhelmed by the number of boats, Zélie feels like she’s losing faith in herself. Tzain looks into her eyes and says that their mother was strong, and so is Zélie.... (full context)
Chapter Thirty
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...though her father trained her to fight, she feels motionless and weak. As Amari cowers, Tzain blocks an attack aimed at her, earning a slash on the arm in the process.... (full context)
Chapter Thirty-One
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Faith and Tradition Theme Icon
Zélie’s magic is beginning to 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... (full context)
Chapter Thirty-Two
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Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
Only two ships are left. But when Zélie doesn’t surface, Tzain leaps overboard and drags her to the surface. As the other ship’s crew boards theirs,... (full context)
Chapter Thirty-Three
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...of all those who died in the competition, many of whom perished at Zélie and Tzain’s own hands. In Amari, who killed the other captain to save her, Zélie sees a... (full context)
Chapter Thirty-Four
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...the three teenagers are hailed as heroes in the city. Zélie is called “The Immortal,” Tzain “The Commander,” and Amari “The Lionaire.” Amari feels like an imposter. She is disturbed by... (full context)
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...also feels heartened that they are closer to bringing back magic and to avenging Binta. Tzain tries to convince Amari that she should go home to avoid having to kill again.... (full context)
Chapter Thirty-Six
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Zélie, Tzain, and Amari travel through the lush Gombe River Valley. They come upon a river and... (full context)
Chapter Thirty-Seven
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Amari and Tzain watch helplessly while their siblings fight. As they follow Inan and Zélie through the jungle,... (full context)
Chapter Thirty-Eight
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Zélie hears Amari’s screams, and she and Inan freeze midway through their fight. Realizing Tzain has been taken as well, Zélie takes off in pursuit of Inan and both of... (full context)
Chapter Thirty-Nine
Prejudice and Inequality Theme Icon
Duty to Family vs. Self Theme Icon
...to bring more death in his father’s name. Instead he, slashes off Zélie’s restraints. Realizing Tzain and Amari are gone, they both feel shattered and collapse on the ground. (full context)
Chapter Forty
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...with guilt. If she hadn’t tried to fight Inan, none of this would have happened. Tzain is always paying for her mistakes. She is filled with determination to defend her family.... (full context)
Duty to Family vs. Self Theme Icon
Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
Zélie is determined to find Tzain as quickly as possible. She slams her staff against the hand of the masked boy,... (full context)
Chapter Forty-Two
Prejudice and Inequality Theme Icon
Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
...tied to a tree. A divîner boy rips off her blindfold; behind him, she sees Tzain, also tied to a tree and bloodied. The boy, Kwame, interrogates Amari about who they... (full context)
Duty to Family vs. Self Theme Icon
...for taking hostages and leaving one of their friends behind. She orders them to bring Tzain to get cleaned and bandaged, but says Amari will stay right where she is. (full context)
Chapter Forty-Six
Prejudice and Inequality Theme Icon
Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
Amari and Tzain are still tied up in a tent. There are only a few days left until... (full context)
Chapter Forty-Nine
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As Kwame throws questions at Amari, he punches and stabs Tzain. Amari cries, thinking of Binta and others who have suffered for her. (full context)
Duty to Family vs. Self Theme Icon
Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
...has brought. She cannot be like him. Instead, she knocks the girl unconscious. Amari braces Tzain against her, and pulls him out of the tent. (full context)
Chapter Fifty-One
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Questions tumble out of Zélie, but then Amari stumbles in with Tzain holding onto her for support. As she heals him, Zu begins to explain that she... (full context)
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Crying, Zu apologizes for the hurt she inflicted on Tzain. She felt as if she had no choice. Zélie wants to be angry, but she... (full context)
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Tzain confronts Inan, saying that he will not trust him. When Zélie tries to convince him,... (full context)
Chapter Fifty-Four
Prejudice and Inequality Theme Icon
Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
...He says he’ll rebuild the town when everything is over. She laughs bitterly, saying that Tzain believes Inan will kill her long before then. (full context)
Chapter Fifty-Five
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Suddenly, Zélie and Inan are pulled violently out of the dream. Tzain throws Inan to the ground. Inan leaves for the camp, and Tzain yells at Zélie,... (full context)
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Tzain says that he’s glad their mother didn’t live to see Zélie sink to this level,... (full context)
Chapter Fifty-Six
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...With her sadness has returned a deep apprehension about sharing the scroll’s magic. She pictures Tzain’s fear when she struck him, and her own when Kwame was ignited. (full context)
Chapter Fifty-Seven
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Tzain seeks Amari out in the busy festival. They tease each other about spending a night... (full context)
Chapter Fifty-Eight
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...she looks beautiful.  He grabs her hand and pulls her away from the party, where Tzain won’t see them. There is intense chemistry between them, but when he calls her “little... (full context)
Chapter Sixty
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Tzain abruptly stops dancing with Amari, as he sees Inan kissing Zélie. When he sees Zélie... (full context)
Duty to Family vs. Self Theme Icon
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Amari asks why Tzain can’t forgive Zélie this time, and he explodes. Inan destroyed their home, killing innocent people,... (full context)
Chapter Sixty-One
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The guards cut down as many divîners as they can. Panicked, Zélie searches for Tzain. A guard slashes down the defenseless young boy Zélie danced with earlier. Kwame moves past... (full context)
Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
...to truly fight back against the guards and show them they have strength. Amari and Tzain ride over on Nailah, calling to Zélie. But at that moment, someone else’s hands grab... (full context)
Chapter Sixty-Two
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Tzain and Amari search in vain for Zélie on the scorched, corpse-strewn field. Inan isn’t there... (full context)
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Watching Tzain mourn Zélie, Amari is wracked with shame. She wonders how many families her father, King... (full context)
Chapter Sixty-Five
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Tzain and Amari slip through the town of Gombe, where the guard fortress is located. Tzain... (full context)
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Tzain warns that his friends here are loyal but guarded. They are happy to see him... (full context)
Chapter Sixty-Eight
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The fortress is heavily patrolled by guards. Amari, Tzain, and Tzain’s friends from the bar dash towards the walls. After touching the scroll, three... (full context)
Faith and Tradition Theme Icon
Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
...maji who have suffered and died because of this man. She prepares to strike, but Tzain’s voice calls her back to attention. He reminds her that they need to go. Amari... (full context)
Chapter Sixty-Nine
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Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
...a sword with confidence. The Amari he knows would never fight. Inan hands Zélie to Tzain, who is devastated at the sight of the slur carved into his sister’s back. (full context)
Chapter Seventy
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Zélie feels nothing but pain and guilt. Seeing Tzain’s face, she thinks that her injuries are hurting him like watching the Raid did. She... (full context)
Chapter Seventy-One
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Tzain enters, cowering and uncharacteristically quiet. The sight pains Zélie. He says that he broke his... (full context)
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...perform the ceremony. She wants desperately to conceal this. Amari enters too, and she and Tzain reveal that the solstice is the very next day. They are still very far from... (full context)
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Tzain says they have to find Baba and escape Orïsha. Amari agrees, saying they will regroup... (full context)
Chapter Eighty-Two
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Amari slashes through guards alongside Tzain. The stain of bloodshed is difficult to bear, but necessary. She tries not to think... (full context)
Chapter Eighty-Five
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Zélie says they must bring Tzain there, so they can all be together. But Mama says it is not his time,... (full context)
Epilogue
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Zélie open her eyes and realizes that she’s at sea with Amari, Tzain, and Roën. She asks if they were successful in bringing magic back. Everyone is silent,... (full context)