ARC Review: Legendborn

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.

WWW Wednesday (2nd September 2020)

Hi friends, it’s time for WWW Wednesday again. So, what’s it about? This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words. Here are my answers to the three Ws!

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Legendborn by Tracy Deonn. I am loving the premise, loving the execution. It gives me a strong feeling of nostalgia for YA of the past whilst bringing characters with loads of depth and important messages of colonialism and race. This book is legendary! It builds on King Arthur and makes it contemporary with some cool magic systems and a college setting. Definitely pick it up when it releases in the UK on 1st October. I can’t wait to see how it ends.

What did you recently finish reading?

The last book I finished is The Last Story of Mina Lee by Nancy Jooyoun Kim. It follows a mother daughter Korean and Korean-American pair through flashbacks and present times in a murder mystery and plot full of family secrets. It’s wonderfully executed and made me feel so much for the characters. I did guess the way things would work out but it didn’t take away from the book at all. Margot learns so much about her mother than she never new and it broke my heart to know that they would never have a close relationship. The flashbacks into Mina’s life are the best bit of the book in my opinion as she struggles with moving to America on her own with the grief of losing a husband and daughter. So good, I cried.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I think next I’m going with Chasing the Stars by Malorie Blackman. It’s a sci-fi that I don’t know much about – but I love Malorie’s Noughts and Crosses series and standalone contemporary Boys Don’t Cry. She’s honestly an amazing children’s and YA author who I read extensively from my school library as a teen. If you haven’t ever read a Malorie book you should absolutely pick one up! Also I love the cover of this one.

What do you think of these choices? I am so excited to make more progress on my to be read.