Series: Legendborn #1
Author: Tracy Deonn
Genre: YA Fantasy
Tropes: Love Triangle, Arthurian Retelling, Found Magic
Edition/Pages: E-book, 512 Pages
I received an ARC copy of this from Margaret K. McElderry Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
After Bree’s mother dies in a sudden car accident, she needs to escape her grief and childhood home. So Bree heads off to UNC-Chapel Hill with her best friend as an Early College student. But one her first night there, she witnesses a magical attack – a flying demon who feeds on human energy.
Suddenly Bree is wrapped up in a society of demons, magic, and Arthurian descendants. And she needs to decide how far she’ll go for the truths she desperate to uncover.
➸ POV: 1st Person from Bree’s POV
➸ Bree Matthews: 16, Black, Early College College student at UNC, Mother recently passed away in car accident, Best friend to Alice, Grieving
➸ Alice Chen: 16, Taiwanese-American, Bree’s best friend and roommate, Early College student at UNC, Queer (not labeled), Cautious
➸ Selwyn Kane: 18, White, Gold eyes, Merlin, Kingsmage, Mysterious & temperamental
➸ Nick Davis: 17, White, 2nd year Early College student, Bree’s mentor, Charming
➸ Content Warnings: Death of a parent, Car crash, Grief, Police encounters, Racism, Murder, Blood/Gore/Fighting, Memory loss & manipulation, Sexism, Slavery
Wow! This is an action packed, powerful, YA fantasy that I completely fell in love with.
This book wasted no time diving right into the action! But 11% I was already on the edge of my seat, completely invested in discovering more about this world.
I loved how the author was able to weave the world building throughout the story since we are learning about this complex world and magic system right along with the main character. There is SO MUCH to this world, it could easily have become overwhelming. But Tracy Deonn gave little pieces throughout the book rather than dumping everything on at once, so I never once felt lost, confused, or overwhelmed.
The characters in here were absolutely fantastic. Every character was layered and flawed and complex. Bree was one of the MCs that so many people will be able to connect with. I loved her journey of learning to handle her grief and discover who she wanted to be. Her friendship with Alice was so strong, despite some rocky times. I also loved Bree’s relationship with both Sel & Nick. The 2 male MCs are so different from one another but I loved them both equally.
In general, this book did an amazing job with character arcs and growth. The side characters – Will, Bree’s father, Patricia, Alice etc, were all so fantastic and really brought this story to life. I love when I can connect with a supporting character just as much as the MCs!
This story was so unique in the way it took a popular legend like Arthur and gave it a modern day spin. The themes that Tracy Deonn wove through this story and legend completely blew me away. This definitely can get heavy at times, so please be aware that this deals heavily with racism and slavery in the south. But despite those heavy topics and gut-wrenching scenes, Deonn created a story of power. In her author note at the end of the book she says –
“Athuriana is an opportunity for us to reorient ourselves to the stories we preserver – and rediscover who gets to be legendary.”
Overall I completely devoured this book and will be thinking about this YA fantasy long after putting it down. If this book isn’t on your radar – add it right now! From amazing characters to complex world and magical systems, political intrigue to powerful themes, this story has it all. I desperately need the sequel to this!!
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