Reviews tagging Blood

Legendborn, by Tracy Deonn

90 reviews

hannahh071'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? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.75

I really loved reading this novel. It's easy to get into and it is really a page-turner. The diversity of the characters is really good, not only in race, but also sexuality and gender. It has also a powerfull female protagonist, which is something I loved.

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leob's review

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adventurous emotional mysterious reflective 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

 This was such a FUN book! The world is hecka interesting, the cast is amazing, the protagonist grew on me and 
Spoilerif I DON'T GET A POLY ROMANCE BETWEEN NICK, SEL AND BREE I WILL RAGE-
  ahem, anyways, this was such a refreshing easy to read story! I was flying through it <3 
P.S.: The last few chapters destroyed me emotionally tho aaaa

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tine9625's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging dark emotional mysterious reflective 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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britneyleighs's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional funny hopeful 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? No

5.0


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scorpioness's review against another edition

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

5.0


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irisheyz77's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging dark emotional funny hopeful mysterious 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

3.5


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erimeh's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

5.0

I really loved this. I thought characters and the storyline were great, and I liked the casual inclusion of lgbtq+ characters where their queerness wasn’t the only thing we knew about them- the characters each had personalities and flaws that differed from each other, which I loved. The only thing I didn’t really like was that there was a little bit of a sort-of love triangle, and I’m not a big fan of those, but since it had a bi (or pan, it’s not stated explicitly) character that made it a real triangle and not the more common love “corner” (as I call it), liked it a lot better. Amazing book and I can’t wait for the second one!

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just_one_more_paige's review

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adventurous challenging dark emotional inspiring mysterious reflective tense 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? It's complicated

5.0

 
Magic, King Arthur and a UNC-Chapel Hill setting? I’m not entirely sure that there’s a book more in line with my life and interests than that. Plus, every single review I’ve read has been glowing. So really there was never a chance I didn’t read this one. Expectations were high. And wow – it stood up. 
 
Bree Matthews leaves her home in small-town NC to start an Early College program at UNC-Chapel Hill just months after her mother’s death. Bree and her best friend, Alice, head to the program together, but their extracurriculars split pretty early on when Bree sees a magical demon creature attack right after arrival. When the attempt to erase her memory of the event fails, Bree is pulled into a secret society of “Legendborn,” descendants of Arthur and the original Knights of the Round Table who, for centuries, have secretly protected the world from the Shadowborn demons. But even having learned all those secrets, things are still not all as they appear. Bree’s mentor Nick (who she may or may not be falling for) is more to the Order of the Round Table than he seems, the society’s mage, Sel, seems to have something against her, and the historical bloodlines are not enthused to have her Onceborn (and Black) presence in their ranks. But Bree stays, because she is sure that the Order has something to do with her mother’s untimely death. And then there’s the fact that she has so many abilities that she didn’t know about and can’t explain. That, along with the discovery of the Order, working through grief for her mother, keeping up with school, and the other magic that runs in her family but her mother never told her about, Bree has quite a bit of self and ancestral discovery in front of her. Oh, and of course the decision of whether or not to stay involved with the Order and help them fight in the clearly impending “end of the world” war with the Shadowborn.     
 
I jut reread that blurb I wrote and despite how long it is, I still feel like I did a terrible job giving a picture of just how much happens in this book. It is pretty nonstop, pacing-wise, right from the beginning. We meet Sel and the Shadowborn right away and from there, it’s reveal after reveal as Bree learns more about the Legendborn, the Order, their “work,” who Nick really is, and starts to break through Sel’s exterior. There there’s the real life stuff, with school and her friend Alice and staying in contact with her father and seeing a therapist to help her start to work through the loss of her mother. Which opens up a whole new line of reveals, as Bree learns she inherited an unexpected magical gift from her mother (that runs in the line of females in her family), and what that means for her involvement with the Order, as well as finding help in reaching out to her ancestors to learn more about her abilities. Like seriously, for weeks on end it feels like Bree never has a chance to take a breath or have a moment to process. And as a reader that was thrilling. However, as far as a (small) critique of the book, it did feel like the timing of the plot development was perhaps a bit fast to be realistic. And of course I mean that in regards to character and relationship development, because I know that magic (despite all my personal hopes) is not realistic. Sort of along these lines, this book began as a really well blended mix of fantasy and real life, but I did feel like by the end, the balance had tipped a bit extra towards fantasy and we lost touch a little bit with the grounded “real” setting. 
 
Anyways, let me talk more about the things I loved. Get ready for an all-over-the-place list here. First, OMG the nostalgia! Even though some places were more euphemistic or changed, I still loved recognized the real life inspirations/locations – Gimghoul castle, the secret societies existence/rumors, the Arboretum, the Unsung Founders Memorial,  the (mid-campus!) cemetery, Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe, and, though it isn’t a UNC landmark, the State Fair mention – I just loved “spotting” all the places I have known and lived by for years. Super fun! Also, I’m a hella King Arthur mythology fangirl, so I was all in for that entire aspect. It was such a unique take on the popular stories and I loved what Deonn did with it all to bring it into the present day! Bree herself was a great teen character. I loved her headstrong surety and strength and also appreciated the headstrong unwillingness to listen and consider before making decisions – so accurate for the age. I was glad to see the start of the turn with Sel’s character. Call me basic and predictable, but I love a “dark” and tattooed and mysterious male MC (Nick was great too, if I’m honest, just not my type) and so I was really hoping we’d get some of that “secret good side” eventually. I was also into how much of Bree’s relationships with both Nick and Sel is up in the air at the end – there was so much going on that it seemed like the right way to end it and I cannot wait to see how the three of them play out moving forwards. In fact, I really want to call out that with all the fast pacing, it would have been easy to leave it there and let the characters play second fiddle. And most of the side ones did, I thought. But I think Nick and Sel and, especially Bree (even though it happened a little fast), did have some great development. Specifically, Bree’s relationship with her mother and her mother’s death, moving through the ways she ignored the grief and then projected it and then finally, as she began to get closure, moved into actually dealing with it, was intense and though but also well handled. Overall, a really solid mix of character and plot movement and growth throughout. 
 
The last thing I want to point out, that I loved, and appreciated so much it deserves its own paragraph, was the way Deonn takes on the part of UNC (and the South’s) history of slavery and racism that it is still embroiled in forgetting/sweeping under the rug and pretending doesn’t exist anymore despite all evidence to the contrary. This was a stunning tribute to the strength and resilience and survival of Black women, in the face of so much direct and intergenerational violence and trauma and loss and (looking at the many ways the Order legacy families reacted to Bree and how white people still act IRL), is alive and well. Using Bree’s mother and ancestors as a single example representing so much more, the mother-daughter connection and grief is so strong, the deep loss of ancestral connection and knowledge and closure that was (is) stolen from so many, it difficult to reckon with, but must be done. On this note, and in an effort to avoid spoilers, I’ll keep it vague: the forced legacy storyline “twist” was…wow. Intense and chilling and an absolute “inextricable, horrible truth” that throws light onto a dark and buried trauma reality (one that really must be more a widespread reality than anyone – anyone white – realizes or is willing to consider). Phew.   
 
Well, Deonn delivered everything I was looking forward to and promised by other reviewers, plus some. This opening novel was chock full of magic and secrets and twists, new relationships and great supportive friendships, spectacular “world”-building, adversaries both societal and magical, the tough moments of discovery and closure, and a beautiful and difficult recognition of the resilience of Black women in the Southern US throughout the centuries. Gorgeously crafted and executed. I cannot wait to see where this story goes in book two and I highly recommend it.  
 
“To be able to trace one’s family back that far is something I have never fathomed. My family only knows back to the generation after Emancipation. Suddenly, it’s hard to stand here and take in the magnificence of the Wall and not feel an undeniable since of ignorance and inadequacy. Then, a rush of frustration because someone probably wanted to record it all, but who could have written down my family’s history as far back as this? Who would have been able to, been taught to, been allowed to? Where is our Wall? A Wal that doesn’t make me feel lost, but found. A Wall that towers over anyone who lays eyes on it. Instead of awe, I feel…cheated.” 
 
“Everything has two histories. Especially in the South.” 
 
“Sometimes, you say the awful thing quickly and without taking a breath because lingering is too painful.” 
 
“Don’t make your life about the loss. Make it about the love.” 
 
 
 

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maiathornton's review

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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

5.0


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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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