This book gave me so many nostalgic feelings of 2008/9. It takes a familiar premise and elevates to another level – it is unique in it’s representation of fantasy in YA. The magic system is interesting, but it also explores Black history in a way I wasn’t expecting. It is honest, full of characters that quench curiosity and Tracy Deonn absolutely knows how to tell a story. Legendborn is not one to miss, and I see it being an awesome TV series in the future if handled correctly.
Star rating: 5 stars
Bree Matthews loses her mother at only 16 years of age. Right before she dies, they fought over Bree’s acceptance to an Early College program in Carolina. Still grieving, Bree moves into dorms with her best friend Alice, and they begin their life of independence. While Alice settles into her academics, Bree is drawn into a secret magical society that is somehow connected to her mother. Built on legacy, she is an outsider who knows too much to ignore.
The magic system is routed in the legend of King Arthur, with family lines driving the future of the society. Nick and Selwyn are Bree’s main companions throughout the book. Nick is set to be the next leader but he doesn’t want to be. Selwyn is a Kingsmage (a Merlin) set to serve Nick. I don’t want to detail the structure of the society too much because of spoilers, but it makes for a great competition and interesting politics.
What elevates this book is its discussions of African American history and slavery, particularly the way it handles the magic system. I loved the flashbacks, the family dynamics. Bree’s personality also works so well with her story, I honestly couldn’t find out what happens fast enough.
Fast paced with a great balance between action and detail, Legendborn is absolutely a book to look out for in the future. I can’t wait for the sequel, and can’t wait to add the final copy of this book to my shelves. Do you think you will read Legendborn? I have a feeling you won’t be disappointed. Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Children’s UK for the early copy.