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.
Let’s start with the parts I enjoyed and that was mainly the world. It was very unique & interesting and I had fun learning about the world & magic system.
However, I simply couldn’t connect with the actual story or characters. Which is the main reason I rated Legendborn 3.5 stars. There wasn’t anything extremely wrong with the book in my opinion but if I can’t connect then I struggle to care what happens. I would have probably DNFd this one if the audiobook hadn’t been available on Scribd because I was just struggling. I took so long reading it because I just wasn’t excited about picking it up.
I did have a couple actual issues with the book as well.
Firstly, the characters felt a bit 2 dimensional. I think if they had been a bit more fleshed out & realistic it would have been easier to connect to it.
The romance was also bleh. I don’t love romance at the best of times but a super predictable love triangle? No thank you.
Then there was the racism. While I love a good discussion on racism in books this one for some reason just felt so forced. I felt like the main character mentioned all the damn time that she was black like the author just wanted to double and triple check that you knew she was POC.
Overall, this one just wasn’t for me. I had a few issues and a few things I enjoyed but unfortunately the good wasn’t enough to out-way the bad.
Have you read Legendborn? What did you rate it?
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