Title: Legendborn (Legendborn #1)
Author: Tracy Deonn
Pub. Date: September 1st 2020
Genre: YA Fantasy/Retelling
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 512 pages
🖤ALC provided by author in exchange for an honest review🖤
“𝐼 𝑚𝑎𝑝 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑟𝑎𝑖𝑛’𝑠 𝑠𝑖𝑛𝑠, 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑖𝑛𝑣𝑖𝑠𝑖𝑏𝑙𝑒 a𝑛𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑚𝑎𝑛𝑦, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 ℎ𝑜𝑙𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑚 𝑐𝑙𝑜𝑠𝑒. 𝐵𝑒𝑐𝑎𝑢𝑠𝑒 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑛 𝑖𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑝𝑎𝑖𝑛 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑜𝑠𝑒 𝑠𝑖𝑛𝑠 𝑡𝑎𝑘𝑒𝑠 𝑚𝑦 𝑏𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑡ℎ 𝑎𝑤𝑎𝑦, 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑝𝑎𝑖𝑛 𝑓𝑒𝑒𝑙𝑠 𝑙𝑖𝑘𝑒 𝑏𝑒𝑙𝑜𝑛𝑔𝑖𝑛𝑔, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑖𝑔𝑛𝑜𝑟𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑖𝑡 𝑎𝑓𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑎𝑙𝑙 𝐼 𝑗𝑢𝑠𝑡 𝑤𝑖𝑡𝑛𝑒𝑠𝑠𝑒𝑑 𝑤𝑜𝑢𝑙𝑑 𝑏𝑒 𝑎 𝑙𝑜𝑠𝑠”
It’s been a couple of weeks since I read the last page of Legendborn and yet thinking back on my reading experience, I still manage to get emotional and teary eyed. If you find yourself burnt out from reading Fantasy or even possibly that you may be outgrowing YA Fantasy, I’d say this is one worth giving a go. It’s simply one that gives the reader so much more than they go in thinking to get. At its surface Legendborn is a continuation of King Arthur and the Order but author Tracy Deonn gave this story raw life & emotional ties to actual history that often times was painful to read. This is in no way a tame read, it will make you uncomfortable but these are the types of stories that deserve a seat at the table.
Deonn gives us Arthur and The Order with a link to intergenerational trauma in the South. Our MC has PTSD and early symptoms of PCBD after witnessing her mother’s passing. She isn’t prepared for the revelations her grief will bring about. Recruited into a Early College program alongside her BFF, Bree is soon taken off course by a secret society. In this society there are descendants of Arthur and his Knights, the kicker is that they have an actual magical bond to their ancestors. This was set in place as a precautionary way of ensuring the line lives on and is well protected against any enemies of the Order. The Knights themselves remain in a dormant state and can only be awakened by an actual threat to King Arthur himself. During times of peace, the descendants train and take on pages such as Bree. Bree doesn’t exhibit any actual talents or strengths but she manages to get Nick (King Arthurs descendant unbeknownst to her at the time) who is self-exiled from The Order, to join her in trying to unearth any secrets The Order may have to her mothers death. She discovers links to her ancestors that are painful and a testament to her own inherited resilience. The root magic she carries within is steeped in history and not without a price. If you’re looking for a Fantasy with more character depth & historical ties, this is for you. Some will compare this to a YA version of Ninth House or even the Shadowhunter world. I’d say it has elements from both those worlds however Legendborn stands on its own.
If there’s one Fantasy I’ve read this year that I’d recommend, wholeheartedly without a doubt it’s Legendborn. I had zero interest in Arthurian Legend but one look at the cover & I knew this would be different. I had no idea what I was in for seeing that this is Tracy Deonn debut but I’m walking away grateful for the journey. I appreciated so much the inclusion of therapy for our MC who has experienced such great trauma at her mothers passing. The fact that Bree is at first apprehensive to receive the help because she’s not yet ready to let go or forgive. Bree is hurting and living in her hurt. Although she learns a lot of painful things when she goes digging, she also reconnects with the memories of her mother and her ancestors. Bree grows stronger throughout the book that by the end we have a girl who is coated in a completely different suit of armor. I will be running to the bookstore to pick up my copy of the sequel ON release day!
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