Authors Like Tomi Adeyemi (13 Superb Suggestions)

Do you love young adult novels? Do you have a passion for fantasy narratives? If so, you will adore the works of Tomi Adeyemi, a Nigerian-American author who provides a unique and diverse voice to her novels.

Authors Like Tomi Adeyemi (13 Superb Suggestions)

She is most famous for creating the Legacy of Orïsha series, which started with the release of Children of Blood and Bone in 2018.

This novel, which is aimed at young adults, tells the story of Zélie, who is attempting to return magic to the world.

Adeyemi uses the mythology of West Africa to influence this narrative, thus creating a unique yet grounded narrative.

Tomi Adeyemi’s writing is bold and important, often exploring thought-provoking themes.

After reading some of Adeymi’s books, you may be looking for similar narratives. The good news is that there are plenty of books that are suitable for Adeyemi fans!

If you adore Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone, then you will appreciate the writing of comparable authors, such as Jacqueline Woodson, J. K. Rowling, Jess Lourey, Sarah Dessen, and Natasha Bowen.

Read here for plenty of brilliant book recommendations.

Books By Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha) [Mar 08, 2018] Adeyemi, Tomi

As mentioned, Children of Blood and Bone is Adeyemi’s most famous novel. The book centers around the young Zélie Adebola on her quest to restore magic.

This fabulous fantasy novel takes place in the fictional kingdom of Orïsha. In this kingdom, magic practitioners have been oppressed. 

Children of Blood and Bone is followed by Children of Virtue and Vengeance and Awaken the Magic.

These books continue the narrative of Zélie and her journey to restore the maji, a class of magic users.

Adeyemi’s books explore compelling themes, such as:


As a Nigerian-American writer, Adeyemi provides a unique voice and perspective on race.

In her novels, the maji are enslaved by the kosidán, who have lighter skin. Skin color is an important factor in this fictional society, thus reflecting real-world racism.


Children of Blood and Bone introduces these different magic classes. There is a sense of classism in the relationships between these different classes.

Class and race are intimately connected in the Legacy of Orïsha book series. 


The society of Orïsha is filled with prejudice against certain groups. The society is led by the kosidán, who cannot use magic.

Unfortunately, they oppress the groups that can perform magic and depict prejudiced attitudes towards them, by treating these groups as monsters. 

Adeyemi was inspired to write these books based on the real-world prejudice that she experienced in life. This gives the book an allegorical element. 


Traditional gender roles are often revered in these books.

Despite the magical powers that many women possess in this society, men often rule over and oppress female characters.


Last but not least, violence is also at the heart of Adeyem’s trilogy.  For a long time, this kingdom has been characterized by violence.

Oppressors have long been using violence to oppress certain groups of people. Even heroic characters like Zélie have to resort to violence to secure peace.

This highlights the inescapability of violence.

Authors Like Tomi Adeyemi

Jacqueline Woodson

Miracle's Boys

Jacqueline Woodson is an amazing American author who makes a great alternative to Adeyemi. Woodson often tackles many of the same themes as this writer.

Woodson has become well-known for writing Miracle’s Boys, a 2000 young adult novel.

This award-winning book focuses on three Puerto Rican and African-American brothers. The novel documents their youth growing up in the New York borough of Harlem.

Other Woodson books that you should check out include Feathers, Brown Girl Dreaming, and I Hadn’t Meant to Tell You This.

Brown Girl Dreaming is a magnificent memoir about Woodson’s youth as an African American and the struggles that she faced in the 1960s.

Many of Woodson’s books are aimed at middle-grade students and young adults. 


  • Woodson and Adeyemi are interested in lots of similar themes, including race and class.
  • Woodson has a beautiful and eloquent writing style. 


  • Some of Woodson’s content will not be suitable for older readers.

Themes: Family, loss, race, love, class, violence, prejudice. 

Sarah Dessen

That Summer

Sarah Dessen is a major name in the young adult novel genre. Dessen is a prolific writer, having crafted a wide assortment of books. 

Dessen’s brilliant debut novel is That Summer, which follows a young girl named Haven who feels overwhelmed.

She has to deal with her sister’s engagement and the changes that her close friend is going through.

Meanwhile, Once and for All tackles the heavy theme of grief. As the daughter of a skilled wedding planner, Louna has experienced numerous weddings.

After much tragedy, Louna stopped believing in love. However, the enigmatic Ambrose offers a great opportunity for love.

Dessen’s books are fantastic for people who love romance and some more serious themes, including loss.

As a young adult writer, Dessen is a sensational stand-in for Adeyemi. 


  • Dessen’s writing is filled with romance.
  • She covers some deep themes, like loss and death.


  • Dessen rarely writes about magic, meaning that she is not an exact substitute for Adeyemi.

Themes: Romance, grief, loss, death, love, gender.

Jess Lourey

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If you enjoy magic realism, then you will adore the writing of Jess Lourey. This author instills her novels with a marvelous sense of magic.

Yet, this versatile author has also branched out into crime, children’s fiction, and young adult novels.

If you’re looking for a magnificent magical realism book, why not try The Catalain Book of Secrets?

This page-turning mystery has a phenomenal paranormal element. It’s this focus on the realistic magic that makes Lourey suitable for Adeyemi fans.

Meanwhile, if you are searching for a young adult novel, Lourey’s The Toadhouse Trilogy is an outstanding option.

The first book in the novel tells the tale of a girl who believes herself to be entirely ordinary until she realizes that she has been living in a novel.


  • Lourey crafts magnificent mysteries.
  • Lourey also gives her writing a subtle sense of humor.


  • A selection of Lourey’s books may be too mature for young adult readers.

Themes: Deceit, magic, mystery. 

Natasha Bowen

Skin of the Sea (Of Mermaids and Orisa)

Up next, Natasha Bowen is a fantastic fantasy writer. This Nigerian-Welsh author is known for creating Skin of the Sea, a fantasy author designed for young adults.

The Skin of the Sea is centered around Simi, who is a Mami Wata. This means that she can take the souls of people who die at sea.

In saving a living boy, Simi breaks the rules of the gods. As a result, she is put in a dangerous position that puts the entire world at risk.

Like Adeyemi, Bowen takes influence from West African mythology. As a result, these two authors work nicely together.

The Skin of the Sea is a beautiful fantasy novel that young adults will cherish. It is followed by the mesmerizing Soul of the Deep.


  • Simi is an amazing protagonist. 
  • West African theology has been wonderfully utilized.


  • The pacing at the beginning is slow.

Themes: Death, mythology, duty, love, sacrifice. 

J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter Paperback Box Set (Books 1-7)

Lastly, Adeyemi is often compared to J. K. Rowling. Rowling has received international acclaim for writing the Harry Potter book series.

It makes a good stand-in for Adeyemi’s writing thanks to the strong presence of magic in both pieces of writing.

This fan favorite tells the story of a young boy who discovers he is a wizard.

Consequently, Harry enrolls at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

However, Harry soon finds himself pursued by the nefarious wizard known as Voldemort.

Among the Harry Potter books that you should check out are The Sorcerer’s Stone, The Prisoner of Azkaban, and The Order of the Phoenix.

These are the first, third, and fifth novels, respectively. These books are ideal for young adults with a passion for magic.


  • The Harry Potter franchise has taken the world by storm.
  • These books are suitable for readers of different ages.
  • Magic is a key feature in this book series.


Themes: Love, family, death, rebellion, education, magic, good vs evil.

Final Thoughts

Tomi Adeyemi has become a welcome voice in the world of young adult fantasy. Her writing style merges fantasy with real-world issues.

Yet, she can write these striking themes in a palpable manner that makes them fascinating for young adult readers.

Since she offers a fresh perspective in the fantasy genre, it’s difficult to find authors that are comparable to Adeyemi.

Luckily, these five fantastic writers are perfect for Adeyemi fans. So why not check out their books?!

Frequently Asked Questions

At What Age Can You Read Children of Blood and Bone?

Though it is a young adult novel, Children of Blood and Bone covers some rather serious themes and contains a striking narrative.

As a result, readers should be at least 13 years old before attempting to read this book.

Is Children of Blood and Bone Worth Reading?

Yes, this book is worth reading. It provides fascinating insights into society whilst telling a gripping story with plenty of vigor. 

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Anna Davis