Author Tomi Adeyemi has landed a seven figure book-and-movie deal for her first novel, “Children of Blood and Bone”, which is being described as a “Black Lives Matter-inspired fantasy novel.”

According to the 24year old writer, she explained that her Nigerian heritage played a huge role in shaping her debut novel. She describe the epic fantasy series as “Black Panther but with magic”.

Children of Blood and Bone tells the story of a dark-skinned girl who takes on an empire.

The story’s protagonist Zélie, a fisherman’s daughter, is sent on a quest to restore magic to her culture. She is confronted by divine forces and teams up with unlikely allies. The story is reminiscent of other entries into the fantasy favourites like Harry Potter but is still very much rooted in real life.

Speaking to The Guardian, Adeyemi also revealed that that she was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. In one scene in the beginning of the book, she recreated the video of a police officer pushing a teenage girl to the ground at a pool party in Texas in 2015. She explained that writing the book was therapeutic.

The book unapologetically Nigerian. Many places are named after Nigerian cities, characters wear traditional Nigerian fashion and there’s a spiritual connection to the country. She said that for all the reasons people like Black Panther, people will love her book.

“That’s why the success of [the recent Marvel movie] Black Panther has been so significant – black and marginalized audiences have the chance to see themselves as heroes depicted in a beautiful and empowering way, and white audiences get to see new stories told, and it becomes easier for them to picture a black superhero,” she told The Guardian. “Imagination is a funny thing – we sometimes need to see something before we can truly picture it.”

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Adeyemi’s book is important for the culture because it’s important that Nigerians the world over get a chance to tell their own stories. Nigeria is such a culturally and spiritually rich country and lends itself easily to the fantasy genre.

We hope Adeyemi’s success will spur other young writers to reach into the depths of their imagination and find their own bestsellers.

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