A review by branwen
Legendborn, by Tracy Deonn

adventurous challenging emotional funny 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? It's complicated

5.0

I adored this book. I admit that I was skeptical at first, because of the hype around it, and so often they don't turn out to be as incredible as people claim, but the popularity of this book is so justified. 
It is based on Arthurian legends but within a modern setting, and I loved what Deonn did with this folklore. They weren't just the legends re-hashed as we know them, but dealt with and changed in such a unique way that it was like exploring the legends for the first time all over again. There is also a really interesting array of magic systems within the world that also felt very intricate and immersive. And by having a secret society setting, it just added so much more to the atmosphere of the book as well. 
The characters are by far one of the greatest strengths of the book. There is a large, diverse cast of characters who all feel well-developed and with distinguishable personalities. I think the author can create a real sense of authenticity in her work, so the diversity or the dynamics and chemistry between characters never feels forced. All of them are interesting and complex, and whilst there is always a few that you just cannot like and you're not supposed to like either, the large majority of them feel real and likeable, because you're given insight into their personalities and the ways in which they work/ think. Bree (the main character) also goes on a particularly incredible journey throughout the book, which is inspiring and emotional, and she gains more character development and depth in one book than some characters gain throughout a whole series. There's also a love triangle, and I cannot explain enough how much I usually despise them... yet this one had me hooked. It's definitely in the early stages of a love triangle, but I love the different dynamics we see between them all and I completely believe in the chemistry that Deonn can create between characters. 
Also, as much as there is a mystery being woven and solved, there's a lot of humour as well as emotional depth, which everyone can relate to or enjoy reading in some way. 
My only complaint is that the first 100 pages didn't particularly capture my attention, but then after that I was hooked. This book surprised me in so many ways and you get to go on such a journey with the characters (not just the main one) and you can't help but root for them. 

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