The Arthurian Legend Gets the Upgrade It's Always Needed | Review: Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

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We all know I love a good Arthurian Legend retelling--and Legendborn is one of the best since Once & Future. Get ready for Black Girl Magic and a well woven fantasy. Legendborn kept me on the edge of my seat and was the perfect retelling.

by Tracy Deonn 

Filled with mystery and an intriguingly rich magic system, Tracy Deonn’s YA contemporary fantasy Legendborn offers the dark allure of City of Bones with a modern-day twist on a classic legend and a lot of Southern Black Girl Magic.

After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.

A flying demon feeding on human energies.

A secret society of so called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down.

And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts—and fails—to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw.

The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates.

She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn with his own grudge against the group, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society’s secrets—and closer to each other. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur’s knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down—or join the fight.

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
Rating: ★★★
 As always, a copy of this book was provided by the author or publisher in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.

Tracy Deonn provides the essential twist and turns of a classic retelling in Legendborn. There's no shortage of fresh spins on the Arthurian Legend but there's not quite one like this. Deonn paints the picture of a vibrant, new fantasy series in one massive swoop--this is truly an astounding, enthralling and utterly delectable debut. 

Although my knowledge of the legend itself provided some bits and pieces to the plot, Deonn managed to surprise me with many twists and turns. Like any good fantasy, the story flew by in a blur of colours and intrigue; each page unraveling the bigger picture and making it impossible to turn away. Legendborn takes us on a wild ride, compelling us to focus only on its chapters--and readers? You're going to be more than eager and willing to do so. 

As far as debuts go, Legendborn is most definitely my favourite of the year. It's the type of fantasy that reminds us why we read fantasy and will surely attract newer readers to the genre. Deonn has this hypnotic prose that will strike a cord with readers of all ages, and the characters featured in Legendborn will stick with us for days and weeks and months and years.

Ultimately, Legendborn is everything I hoped it would be and then multiplied by three. Debut novels don't get any better than this one. It's time to step into a magical new world and embrace its vivid world-building.  

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