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.
Wow, just wow. Legendborn was power. Strong and beautiful.
I was sent a copy from Simon and Schuster for Black History Month to review. I never came up for air. This novel was fire!
Set at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Legendborn is rich with Deep South, African American history and secret societies overlaid with Aurthurian legend. Words can not do it justice, it’s a book that must be felt. Tracy Deonn leads you through generational and traumatic grief, chemistry, and bad a* fight scenes.
Bree is seeking answers about her mother’s death while trapped behind a wall of pain. She has to face loss, racism and the rungs of society socialites seeking power.
It’s an explosive adventure with deep meaning about how we connect with our ancestors, and the stories within our roots. Bree delves into the past to seek answers and you go right along with her. The last few chapters are emotionally moving. The layered storylines suck you into a portal, to another time and place.
Absolutely stunning writing! I want to go back and read it again, can not wait for book 2. One of the best YA fantasies I have ever read.
Content: Violence, depictions of slavery, racial comments, “F” word.
“Don’t make it about the loss. Make it about the love.”
About the Author
Tracy Deonn is a writer and 2nd gen fangirl. She grew up in North Carolina, where she devoured fantasy books and Southern food in equal measure. After earning two degrees from UNC-CH, Tracy worked in live theater, video games, and K-12 education. When she’s not writing, Tracy panels at SFF conventions, reads fanfic, arranges doggy playdates, and keeps an eye out for ginger-flavored everything.