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Legendborn, by Tracy Deonn

40 reviews

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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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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cedmnds's review

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

4.0

a bit of a complicated plot . you kind of have to be fully paying attention because there is a lot going on . the plot was really interesting . i lo be the main characters, but i kinda feel like the relationship was a bit forced  ? maybe just me but i think it would have been better if it were purely platonic . i really liked this book

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amandalorianxo's review

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emotional mysterious slow-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

3.25

I’m still undecided if I want to rate this a three or 3.5 star rating. I did enjoy the fact that this was a diverse read and putting a woman of color as the main character in a fantasy / King Arthur variation retelling was awesome. It gave a refreshing take on some of the blander versions over the years. The grief, pain and sadness Bree feels was relatable over the course of the novel. Even the therapy discovery & acceptance had a note of familiarity to it. Speaking of, I’m also glad that Bree’s dad & Bree have the discussion albeit brief, about how families of color aren’t as receptive to therapy as most would assume. 

In spite of all the positives, I did wish that the world building didn’t make me feel so bogged down & overwhelmed. Too many characters to keep up with. There were times there were pages of it & I had to take my time to understand who was who & how this system played out as far as rankings go. Not a big fan of insta love. I also wish Bree’s love interest was a boy of color. Nothing against inter racial relationships but it would have been such a positive impact if teens / young adults could feel & read about two people of color in love in a fantasy space we normally don’t have. 

The pacing was fine, I preferred it be slow for better understanding. I hope the sequel picks it up a bit. 

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emmeline's review

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adventurous dark emotional hopeful mysterious 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

4.5


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caoimhe9876's review

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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

5.0

This is one of the best fantasy books I’ve ever read

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sfbookgirl's review

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adventurous challenging dark emotional reflective 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

The reviews don’t lie; this book is PHENOMENAL! I sensed some Ninth House (Leigh Bardugo) vibes relatively early on and was pleased that it didn’t feel too similar. Dark fantasy academia is my favorite genre so I knew coming into Legendborn that there was a 99% chance that I would love it. The book is about a high school student named Bree Matthews who enrolls in an early college program at UNC-Chapel Hill a few months after her mother’s death. After witnessing a magical demon attack on her first night at UNC, Bree discovers her own magic and is eager to determine if this is at all tied to her mother’s death.

Legendborn is Tracy Deonn’s first novel and I can’t wait to read what else Deonn writes. The character arcs, family histories, and legacies are so spectacularly executed and bring forth important issues like inherited grief, slavery, and racism. It also speaks about the power of Black women, strength, and self-discovery. Because Legendborn loosely revolves around the legend of King Arthur, I suggest brushing up on that story before diving into the book. And while it’s a hefty 500 pages, I never found Legendborn to be slow; it caters perfectly to my preference for plot-based stories. I can’t wait for the sequel! 

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booksandmo's review

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adventurous 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

4.0


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kimi72714's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional inspiring 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

I absolutely loved this book. 

This book reminds me what great YA fiction should be like, and took me back a decade to when life is hectic, and confusing, but wonderful as a 16 year old. 

There are difficult themes in this book that everyone will grapple with differently, but the acknowledgement that a country was built on slavery is an important issue for everyone to work through. 

I laughed, I cried, I wanted to smack some characters, my chest tingled at the romance scenes. 

This book was such a great YA SFF book and I'm so glad teens gave books like this to read now. Thank you so much Tracy Deonn!

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tea_coffee_sam's review against another edition

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adventurous 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

4.75


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