Hello and welcome to another book review!
This is another one of those books that booktok and bookstagram made me read. I have been caught in the hype of a number of them, some I liked, some I didn’t. Fortunately, this book happens to be one that I thoroughly enjoyed. The author was able to combine everything I enjoy reading about into one book without overdoing it or even trying to solve all the world problems. The characters were well written and most of them seemed to act their age. Not all of them! Anyways without further ado, let’s get into the review.
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Title: Legendborn (Legendborn #1)
Author: Tracy Deonn
Publication date: September 15th, 2020
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
This book is so unlike anything that I have ever read. There is something about magic systems in a lot of fantasy books that make them awfully repetitive and processed. The idea of this story and the magic system is fresh and there is a sense of realism woven into every arc.
Bree Matthews is a black sixteen-year-old girl who has just lost her mother in an accident and she is doing everything to manage this life-changing situation. Only now she is remembering things from the night her mother died that is making her question everything she has known and everyone around her. She is currently enrolled in the early college program for high achieving high school students at the University of North Carolina (UNC-Chapel Hill) a place a mother was very displaced she applied to without her knowledge. On the first night on campus, she witnesses an attack that can only be explained by magic. This is when she meets Selwyn Kane. He had implanted false memories only that she now remembers what it was and who he was. On the same night, she hears about the secret society ‘Legendborn’ who hunt down creatures like the one she saw during the attack.
Escaping from the incident she is picked up by police. This results in her receiving a warning from the Dean who then assigns her a mentor. A mentor who turns out to be Nick Davis a member of the Legendborn. A very important member at that. She is attracted to him and to her. Anyways they get close and she tells him that she wants to join the legendborn so that she can find out the truth about what happened at the hospital the night her mother was killed.
Since Nick is one of the popular and most important members of society, he decides to help. The only problem is that Nick had decided to leave the society even though he was next in line to be called by King Arthur. He helping her means he has to go back to the society he had left because of the secrets his father held about his mother leaving.
When he father gets wind of her meeting with the Dean he decides it was best for her to meet with a therapist at the school. When she meets Dr Hartwood who apparently knew her mum, she learns that a mother also had magic. The old kind, the kind that runs in the veins, the one that could manipulate and grow plants. Her meetings with the therapist began to open her eyes to the past and the present and even the future of a different person and the side of magic they profess to be on.
I am trying not to spoil this book because it is just so good and it is infinitely better when you are surprised by the angles and tangents the story takes. First, I would love to applaud how the author was able to weave in race and racial relationships (family relationships into this story). As someone who grew up in Nigeria (West Africa) I have always believed in magic and how there is magic in the very air we breathe. To see magic written so purely and so divinely is in itself magically. To see how women were able to heal themselves after being brutalized by slave owners. Slave owners who are now mounted on pedestals and given monuments, whose generations still enjoy the wealth built off the back of enslaved black people.
Even when Bree just the society and started to train you could see how she was the other but I loved that she did not back down from bullies, she was able to stand up for herself. While unfortunately, not everyone has the strength for this, it is always amazing to have good examples. The most amazing part of the whole book for me was the ending when she stood in her full power. They did not see that coming at all.
By the way, there are some steamy times between Bree and Nick and whilst I really enjoy their relationship. I cannot help but ship Bree with Selwyn and I know this might just be my sick mind in place but it is what it is 😜
I cannot wait for the next book and I hope Bree and Nick reunite again.
I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars
Thanks for reading.