My first 5 ⭐ read of 2021 (finally)!
If you haven’t already heard about Tracy Deonn’s Legendborn, it follows sixteen-year-old Bree, who is accepted into an early program at UNC Chapel Hill, alongside her best friend, Alice. Still healing from the recent death of her mother, Bree finds herself thrown into a secret world of magic and demons, amongst the descendants of King Arthur who call themselves “Legendborn.”
Before reading this, I kept reading spoiler-free reviews that said, “I’ve never been interested in the legend of King Arthur and the Roundtable, but I loved this book!” And I can now say that I wholeheartedly agree.
So many important themes are packed into this book. Deonn tackles racism, slavery and colonization, love and family, loss, healing, grief, and trauma, as well as the pressure of college.
I found the main characters to be well-rounded and likeable. Bree is a great main character with a lot of agency despite the world around her, and the first person POV worked well for her story. I have to say, I liked Nick, Bree’s Legendborn love interest, better in the beginning than by the end, but I have a feeling his character is going to evolve in the sequel. I also enjoyed getting to know Sel’s morally grey character and backstory.
The one con about this book is that the Legendborn world was a little tricky to understand, though if I’m being honest, it was so much easier for me to understand than Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. That being said, there were a lot of info dumps, and it made it worse that I read the Kindle version, so I couldn’t just flip back to re-read sections in order to get a better understanding of the world. However, this didn’t deter me from loving the story!
I also thought that Deonn could’ve easily made Bree eighteen years old, especially since the story already takes place on a college campus, and it would’ve made the story (not to mention the love interests) make more sense; however, I understand the publishing market prefers sixteen year olds.
I’m looking forward to the sequel!