Zélie Quotes in Children of Blood and Bone
I arch my eyebrow at Amari and think back to her mention of a training accident. I assumed the scar came from her brother’s sword, but was she holding a sword, too? Despite her escape from Lagos, I can’t imagine the princess locked in battle.
After I perform the ritual and bring magic back, after Baba is safe and sound. I’ll rally a group of Grounders to sink this monstrosity into the sand. That announcer will pay for every wasted divîner life. Every noble will answer for their crimes.
Zélie’s memories don’t hold the villains Father always warned of. Only families he tore apart. Duty before self. His creed rings through my ears. My father. Her king. The harbinger of all this suffering.
This pawn was the only piece I managed to salvage. Shame ripples through me as I stare at the tarnished metal. The only gift he’s ever given me, and at its core is hate.
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.
A pit of guilt opens in my chest, tainted with the smell of burning flesh. The fires I watched from the royal palace resurface, the innocent lives burned before my young eyes. A memory I’ve pushed down like my magic, a day I longed to forget. But staring at Zélie now brings it all back: the pain. The tears. The death.
The children of Orïsha dance like there’s no tomorrow, each step praising the gods. Their mouths glorify the rapture of liberation, their hearts sing the Yoruba songs of freedom. My ears dance at the words of my language, words I once thought I’d never hear outside my head. They seem to light up the air with their delight. It’s like the whole world can breathe again.
In that instant it hits me: Zulaikha’s death. Zélie’s screams. They don’t mean a thing to him. Because they’re maji, they’re nothing. He preaches duty before self, but his Orïsha doesn’t include them. It never has.
I stare at the blade; the inscription gleams in the moonlight. Its words simplify my mission, creating space for my pain. A soldier. A great king. That’s all I’ve ever wanted to be. Duty over self. Orïsha over Zélie.
I don’t want to be alone. Not when tonight could be my last night. Blind faith in the gods may have taken me this far, but if I’m going to get on that island tomorrow, I need more.
Minutes stretch into hours, an eternity that drags like death. Each second that passes is another second my mind tumbles in guilt What if they’re captured? What if they die? I can’t have more people perish for this. I can’t have more blood stain my hands.
As long as we don’t have magic, they will never treat us with respect, Baba’s spirit booms. They need to know we can hit them back. If they burn our homes—I burn theirs, too.