In 2018, Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone, the first book of her Legacy of Orisha series, came out to rapturous reviews. A movie deal soon followed. Now, Adeyemi has another feather in her cap: She’s one of TIME‘s Most Influential People of 2020.
None other than John Boyega sings Adeyemi’s praises in TIME. He’s obviously a huge fan of Adeyemi’s work, and in the power of her stories:
“She’s inspiring a lot of young people to write. She creates the very world that we as actors get to play in. And the big-screen adaptation will hire a lot of people and bring more representation to our industry—all that comes directly from Tomi’s imagination. She is going to be very powerful when it comes to bringing stories and ideas to the forefront.”
Adeyemi’s enthusiasm is also palpable:
IM ON THE 2020 #TIME100 LIST WITH BONG JOON HO AND MEG THE MUTHAF***IN STALLION BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
— TOMI (@tomi_adeyemi) September 23, 2020
Children of Blood and Bone was a New York Times bestseller, and a best book of the year everywhere from BuzzFeed to Newsweek. The novel follows Zélie Adebola, who seeks to restore magic to the land of Orïsha a decade after the land’s terrible king had every maji killed. As Alex Brown wrote in her review, “Fantasy is drowning in elves, fairies, vampires, and wizards, and too many authors act like they’re fundamental aspects of fantasy. Except they aren’t. Or, they are, but only when writing within a Western/European framework. By rejecting that, Adeyemi simultaneously rejects whiteness as the default mode and celebrates Black culture. In Children of Blood and Bone, she’s offers a standard epic fantasy but without any white trappings. Although there are plenty of recognizable elements, the default here is strictly West African rather than white. This shouldn’t be a revolutionary act in 2018, but it certainly is when the publishing industry continues to value books about POC written by white people over POC authors.”
Last year, it was reported that the Children of Blood and Bone adaptation had been picked up by Disney, and may be a Lucasfilm production. (This would make it the first non-Star Wars or Indiana Jones production for the studio since it was acquired by Disney.) No further details are available yet.