Lee and leaf book review blog Legendborn

Book Review – Legendborn

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Blurb: 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.

He stands there in the grand foyer, a shadow with searching eyes, and suddenly it all becomes so clear. He was born to this world, for better or for worse. And Nick and the Scions and the Squires and the Pages… they grew up living inside the Order’s legends. Suddenly, all I can see is the hundreds of years of history that don’t belong to me. A war that doesn’t belong to me.

“I never should have come here.”

I have no words. This book is PHENOMENAL. It’s been almost a week since I finished Legendborn and I am still thinking about it. If that’s not the hallmark of a really good read then I don’t know what is.

I have to admit, Bree initially annoyed me. I’m not sure if it was because her character was acting her age or I needed time to get used to her but her decision making was questionable at best. However, by the end of the book, I am a Bree STAN. Her journey and character development was *chef’s kiss* and I cannot wait to see her be a badass in the rest of this series.

Can I just say that Legendborn did not need to be a YA novel? Hold on! Before you reach for your pitchforks, I just think that the characters could have been aged up slightly without it affecting the plot. It might have actually helped. As a reader from the Caribbean the concept of a residential programme was completely foreign to me and I couldn’t understand why our characters couldn’t be at regular college/ university.

While Legendborn does lean into familiar YA tropes like a burgeoning love triangle between Bree, Selwyn and Nick (I’m on #TeamSelwyn btw); it shines with it’s fresh take on King Arthur and his knights.

This book felt so well researched with its exploration of Arthurian mythology and Rootwork (developed by enslaved Africans). What made it more impressive was the fact that it never felt forced. The explanations given for the connections felt organic and plausible and didn’t feel like they were thrown together just for the sake of it.

I was surprised to see intergenerational trauma brought on by slavery explored in the book. Though some parts were hard to read, Deonn did such a good job of putting over the information that it wouldn’t deter you from reading the book.

This book was nothing short of magical. The action scenes alone were gripping. In fact, this book would be a great candidate for a TV series.

Legendborn is a MUST read.


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