Reviews tagging Physical abuse

Legendborn, by Tracy Deonn

17 reviews

lessthelonely's review

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adventurous dark emotional inspiring mysterious reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

Read my review here: lonelylesspage.wordpress.com

This book will become for me what Joker is for straight men and I would say I'm sorry about it but then again, I'd be lying.

Let me see how I can put my thoughts of this book and expectations for what's to come in simple terms and while keeping my composure. First of all, I decided to read this book because BookTok wouldn't shut up about it. I now understand why. Secondly, this book is absolutely filled to the cup's edge with magic, amazing character interactions between amazing characters, character development so sharp and astute I can't even put it into more words and, finally, it's eventful as all hell, with entertaining and enthralling happenings.

A few of the these are also absolutely brutal, I'd even say earth-shattering.

Other than that, the book's writing is extremely raw and I cannot stress how good it manages to be sometimes, even in times where you'd think it doesn't need to? Yeah, it goes that far to put the nail in the coffin, and I'm glad it does exactly that. But let's start talking about more palpable things and in more specific terms.

This book knows how to keep you entertained. It's action packed but it also knows how to slow down without making it feel like you're going slower - in fact, it manages to make even emotional scenes extremely fast paced, in my opinion. You'll find yourself just going and going, which is something I really enjoyed when I realize this book has chapters with a longer length than I usually pivot for, though the length isn't really set in stone and varies a bit, if my memory doesn't deceive me.

On another note, the characters in this book? Holy shit. Obviously, the main characters are clear highlights but even the side characters are brimming with personality and realism. You will feel for Bree, for Nick and for Sel, sometimes all at the same time. But you will also love William's remarks, the way all antagonists make your blood B O I L. It's top-notch writing and storytelling, my hes, shes and theys.

Along with this, you'll find some amazing themes entwined in this story: Arthurean lore? Incapacitating grief and cope with said grief? Magic framed not as a blessing but as a curse or at something that comes with a price? And two portrayals of magic, at that? Racial issues and very present tension? Search of an outcome and, to be honest, purpose? Love (platonic, romantic and family)? This book's got all that and probably more I can't remember right now.

Now... The romance? OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH. I had never found a book that made me this in love with a straight relationship. I usually never look forward to a straight relationship in a book I'm reading... But Miss Tracy Deonn said Nah, you're going to root for these two and YOU'RE GOING TO LIKE IT. And like them two lovebirds I did. I will, however, say, that there's a lot of potential for a polyamorous trio here. And Miss Tracy Deonn? If you give that to me I shall have children for the sole purpose of making my kids read this series - assuming I won't do that already. You have made Bree a character who I feel for and root for with all my being in her moments I can't fathom as a white guy doused in privilege, but you've made her so utterly relatable, raw and real that I felt everything she felt. I fell in love with the guy she fell in love. I felt her internal strife, I felt it all.

So, Miss Tracy Deonn... You've sold me on everything you write from now on and got me dying for the continuation of this absolute masterpiece. And notice I did not stutter, nor did I use that word lightly.

As for any unconvinced readers? I don't know what to tell you other than that if none of what I said convinces you, all I ask you is to give it a try.



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chessakat's review

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adventurous emotional hopeful inspiring mysterious sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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theliteraryphoenix's review against another edition

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adventurous hopeful inspiring mysterious sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0

 Even though I understand Legendborn was not written for me, this book filled such a void in my recent reading.  Even in the early chapter, something about it felt warm and familiar.  Eventually, I was able to identify that fuzzy feeling - nostalgia.  Legendborn reminds me of the types of fantasies I read growing up.  World building and writing style evoking Vampire Academy and City of Bones and that whole genre of "young woman discovers magic abilities and is swept away into a secret club where she learns about a hidden world" feel... I loved it, I loved it so much.

Bree is a beautifully complicated character.  She has hopes and dreams, but the events of the book have made so many things unclear for her.  She struggles with anger and love and loss.  There's every shade of emotion in this book and it doesn't quite fall into many of the tropes that plague this kind YA fantasy.  I am such a big fan of Bree - but not just her.  I'm interested in Alice, William, Selwyn, Felicity... just about every character in this book has a journey and they're all interesting.

And the writing?  Tracy Deonn is a brutal writerLegendborn does not pull punches when it comes to betrayal and heartbreak.  There were a lot of twists I didn't expect.  Deonn does a great job of keeper the reader rooted in the moment and absorbed in the story - the ending surprised me chapter after chapter and I am looking forward to the next book.

Deonn wove her own culture into this story and carved - literally and figuratively - a place at the table.  Books like Legendborn remind us how underrepresented non-white protagonists have been in the past, and how they continue to struggle to be seen, much like the audience for whom they are written.  Like my first readthrough of Children of Blood and Bone, I was impressed with the representation, although I am not the appropriate person to say whether or not it is sufficient.  Please do read reviews from Black female-identifying readers for confirmation on the rep!

From the magic and mythology to the character arcs, carefully constructed plot, and smooth writing, Legendborn is an easy five-star read for me.  There's nothing in this book that I can say is mediocre or lacking - it is entirely enjoyable as a YA fantasy and refreshing from some of the repetitive themes I've seen lately.  For me, it's a revival of the style of stories I grew up loving and I can't recommend it enough. 

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anita_finco's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5


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boredomandwordsofbooks's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional mysterious reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0


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leahlovesloslibros's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging dark emotional mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

Tracy Deonn knocked it out of the park. 

In an absolutely stunning YA fantasy debut, all I can say is, this is one book that I will absolutely recommend to everyone. The world building, the familial connections, the magic system, the history, the grief....it was just truly incredible.

The first thing that I really have to discuss is the grief. We see Bree attempting to navigate through her grief following the unexpected loss of her mother. Deonn writes this grief in such a painfully beautiful way that you know the experience had to be somewhat personal for her (which it was, as her mother also died when she was around Bree's age). The character's feelings and raw and visceral, and while reading it seemed as though I was feeling Bree's pain along with her. 

World building is something that I typically either really enjoy or it totally bores me, often I experience the latter. This book, however, did it in such a way that it kept my attention and actually left me wanting more. The history of UNC - Chapel Hill was thorough without being dry; the Legendborn story woven right into it seemed to fit like a glove. I could easily paint a picture in my mind of the locations on campus, thanks to Deonn's detailed descriptions. While there was a lot of world building in the earlier parts of the book, I enjoyed that it continued throughout the book as layers were added to the plot.

The familial connection was something that I could really relate to, since I am close with some of my extended family. I loved that Bree's connection not only with her mother but with her ancestors was a focal point in the story. I can't say more than that without getting into spoilers, but it was done so well.

While I am not Black, I really appreciated the Black history and the focus on everyday struggles Bree faced due to her race, because I feel it gave non-BIPOC a small but significant view into the struggles, microaggressions, and endless race-related issues that BIPOC regularly face. I am actively seeking out books that will present views other than my own in a genuine way so that I can learn more about others' everyday struggles, and this one absolutely delivered in that respect.

The magic system in this book is complicated, and I can't say much about it without giving a lot away, but trust me when I say it's impressive as hell, an so unique.

Honestly, I was very nervous to read this book, as I was worried it wouldn't live up to all of the hype it has been getting in recent months. I was not disappointed in the slightest. The only thing that was missing for me was that I really think the reader would benefit from a glossary, as there is a lot to keep track of and personally I like to have reference information all in one place. Only because there were multiple points throughout the story where I wished for a glossary, I am taking off .5 star; otherwise, this would hands-down be a 5-star read for me.

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aseel_reads's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

what I liked: 

- a black history/culture-Arthurian retelling 
- the commentary on race 
- the dark academia vibes 
- all the fighting and swords
- discussion about grief and loss 

what I didn't like: 
- the romance, so so so rushed, insta-love, could not suspend my belief about it, literally why it lost one star 

what I am ambivalent about: 
- most of the characters tbh... way too many names and positions to remember and cant remember who likes and dislikes Bree. 

overall, it was an engrossing read, really creative and innovative but I hated the romance and the characters were generally hard to keep track of. intrigued for the next book and whether my latest theory will be correct 

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resham's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging dark emotional sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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bookishnatalia's review

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adventurous emotional inspiring mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

What a wonderful modern twist on the Arthurian legend! Throughout the writing you could feel the emotion that went into creating this story. Highly recommend!

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itscassreads's review

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adventurous dark emotional mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.5

“The most important thing you can do in this world, the most necessary thing, is to survive it. You can't do anything for anyone else if you don't take care of yourself first.”

― Tracy Deonn, Legendborn

// TW: death of a parent, traumatic grief and flashbacks, alcohol consumption, mind control/memory manipulation, racist macro and microaggressions, emesis (vomiting), blood, mild gore, combat violence, mentions of physical abuse, mentions of racist violence, mentions of sexual violence, mentions of plantation.


What a wild ride. This book took me on twists and turns, through centuries of pain and loss and a journey of self discovery and survival. I went into Legendborn thinking I was going to get an epic high fantasy of King Arthur lore and an intricate magic system and I was given that and more. This book took away my expectations and surpassed them by a millennia. The big reasons why I loved this epic start to this series was that it wasn't all dark academia and colourful magic, it was realistic and painful and gave so much more. Bree Matthews is our protagonist and I adored her through all her flaws and actions, she truly resembles a lost 16 year old just trying to take each day at a time after the loss of her beloved mother. Bree really made this book, I enjoyed the other characters but Bree remains a character so life-like I found myself thinking about her for hours after I finished her story. 

Without spoiling (because I truly want people to go into this book as blind as I did) these are just some of the reasons to pick this book up:

- complex, badass, intelligent and witty MC
- intense and insanely riveting, action-packed plot from page 1
- real conversations about loss, racism, death and their impacts
- an out of this world magic system
- dark academia vibes
- king arthur lore
- strong family presence
- dark and broody boy(s)

4.5 stars ★

(PS. This is an official Sel fan account, #teamselwyn)

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