Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
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.
Okay okay okay, hear me out. I think I’ve developed an obsession with Arthurian stories where the legend is has been turned into something fabulous. If I’m being honest I had no idea what to expect with this novel. I know people have said it was an amazing novel (and I now agree with them), but I never actually heard anything specific about this novel so I went in with a completely blank slate. The world building that had to go behind the order in this novel is just crazy to think about it and the magic in this book is described in such a cool way. The style of story telling and writing is just *chef’s kiss.* Honestly I don’t really think I disliked anything about this novel. When is the next book coming out I need to know.
Bree was so badass and so real. This novel showed a lot of Bree dealing with trauma and loss, and it made her actually human. Instead of a glorified hero where everyone looked over their faults and assumed they were great, Bree was human and had faults that she actually acknowledged and worked to improve on. Another person that I loved in this novel was Bree’s friend Alice. Alice just seemed like a really good friend who would always have your back. I would protect Alice at all costs. Another person that I really loved was William. He also seemed like a great friend and always had Bree’s back and once he interacted with Alice, they seemed like they could potentially be good friends also. The only character I can say I didn’t really like from the start was Tor. She wasn’t giving off the best vibes so I never really felt like she was cool. Outside of Tor, it was cool to see all the Legendborn and friends in the Order (pages, scions, etc.) interact. The dynamic everyone had just made them all seem like they were close friends and were a fun group to be around. They knew when to be serious and when to be lighthearted.
I loved this novel and recommend it to anyone who like YA fantasy. The characters were all intricate and provided awesome things to the plot, the story building was so cool, and the writing style was awesome. I can’t wait for the second book to come out so I can get more of this juicy plot (and more Sel).
- Have you read this novel?
- If so, did you enjoy it?
- Do you enjoy arthurian retellings?