Ahhh hey everyone! I can’t freaking believe that today is the day for my post on Legendborn! I’ve been dying for this book to come out and I’m just so glad that I have my copy at home waiting for me to enjoy and read over and over again. Thanks again so much to Hear Our Voices for hosting this tour, and the IG book tour happening this month as well! Be sure to check out both sets of tours and see all of the content that’s coming out for this tour. It’s gonna be great!
by Tracy Deonn
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: September 15th, 2020
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
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.
Tracy Deonn is a writer and second-generation fangirl. She grew up in central North Carolina, where she devoured fantasy books and Southern food in equal measure. After earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communication and performance studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Tracy worked in live theater, video game production, and K–12 education. When she’s not writing, Tracy speaks on panels at science fiction and fantasy conventions, reads fanfic, arranges puppy playdates, and keeps an eye out for ginger-flavored everything.
Tracy is a champion for diversity and representation in science-fiction and fantasy literature and media. And when Tracy’s mother told her that the women in their family were Black Bene Gesserits, she believed her.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Hear Our Voices Book Tours, Netgalley, and Margaret K. McElderry Books for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.
This will forever be one of my all time favorite books in the damn world! No lie, no exaggeration, just straight up fact. I LOVED THIS BOOK!
I feel like if I had all the time in the world, I could just sit here forever and continue to find things that I love about this book that I didn’t mention at the beginning of the conversation. It was like I didn’t want to finish this book because I didn’t want it to end, I didn’t want to get out of Bree’s world. I wanted to stay with her as she went through this journey, and find out everything that she found out and see what she’s going to do with that information. Bree’s story is one that makes you want to support her and feel for her because of everything that she has gone though and how she is trying to cope and deal with it.
Want some examples?
- Having an argument with her mother the night she died in a car accident
- Knowing that her mother didn’t want her to go to Carolina but she did anyway through Early College
- Seeing hell demons for the first time
- Finding out that maybe someone hid the reason why her mother died
- Dealing with racist cops the first night on campus
- Dealing with lame ass microaggressions her second day on campus
- Getting into an argument with her best friend and roommate
- Learning about the Legendborn
And that’s all I can really say without getting into spoiler territory, but look at that. All of this before the semester even really started. How stressful and tiring is that? And that’s not even including the fantasy aspect – although I did include the hell demon part and briefly the Legendborn part – but look at the majority of that. This is what Bree is dealing with in her life, and even that internal struggle of Before Bree and After Bree, trying to come to terms with the fact that she lost her mother at a young age, and also allowing her to express her anger and hurt without people thinking of her as the “angry Black girl.” Do you know how annoying that is? And do you know how hurtful that statement is in general? Why can’t Bree, anyone, express their anger and rage without people saying it’s because she’s Black?
And ugh the stupid racist crap that Bree had to go through. Honestly no freaking wonder Bree is always having to be on guard around everyone. She can’t even freaking relax because at any moment someone could say something that’s offensive and they may or may not know it. And whatever she may want to do as herself could be perceived as “ghetto” or “too Black” for some people. It’s so frustrating and I get it. I get where Bree is coming from and I’m honestly so proud of her for being able to stand up to people when they do something that she doesn’t like to do and telling them that they are being jerks.
I could go on and on and on, and honestly I feel like this was also part #ownvoices Reflection so that may be two birds with one stone, but I think you just really, really need to read this novel. It was just perfect. Perfection. Chef’s kisses all around.
Do you know how much I wish I was unapologetically me? Unapologetically Black? Just proud to be Black at all?
I want to be like Bree. I want to be her friend. I want to support her.
I want us both to heal and be happy when we want to be, be angry when we want to be. Just be us.