Arthurian Legends in Legendborn | Book Review


Rating: 5 out of 5.

A mind-blowing cocktail of exciting fantasy elements!

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Author: Tracy Deonn
Published: September 2020
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 503 (paperback)

Content warning (click to see)

slavery mentions – death – severe injuries – grief – generational trauma (African American history)

This book took me a hot second to get into (and by a hot second, I mean 200 pages *gulp*) but once I got there, I understood why this is hyped up so much.

Legendborn combines elements of Arthurian legend and Black representation (which is done so well *chef’s kiss*) plus all the angsty romance and (potential) love triangles you want in a YA fantasy.

I loved Bree’s character, I thought she was so well done. The way she is dealing with grief, new responsibilities, change and unexpected demons (like, literally) was a chaotic jumble of adventure. Deonn has also seamlessly woven into the story a fantastic amount of Black representation, really highlighting Bree’s experience – particularly being in a college that has an overwhelming amount of white history and historic slavery. But in any case, I will leave the analysis of the Black representation in this book to other reviewers who have more authority to speak on such matters.

What I will say, is that the feminist themes of this book were also on point. The way Bree breaks down walls and barriers (in context of entering a male-dominant Order) was cause for so many fist-pumping moments when I was rooting for her success. And if you’ve read the book, you’ll know that the events towards the end were a landslide victory for feminism as Bree shatters expectations and steps unexpectedly in an area that gets all the men’s knickers in a twist.

I thought the blend of Arthurian legend into this was absolutely fascinating. Bree stumbles (well, wilfully stumbles) into this old Secret Society that has a long history of slaying demons using aether (magic). And the Arthurian legend is involved in the hierarchy of this Order – but I’m not going to confuse you by trying to explain it here.

Despite the slow beginning, I found this book totally epic and was perpetually unsure of which direction it was going in – which I loved! I couldn’t have told you, even pages before the end, how this book was going to end and what events would take place. It’s such a mystery, and it’s so exciting because of it! It may be a long book, but it’s one well worth the investment because the end result is an epic tale you don’t want to me.

And whilst I won’t spill any spoilers, I do believe there is going to be a love triangle of some description in this story – one I’m crossing fingers will come to loggerheads in the next instalment.

Speaking of charachters, Nick was an interesting character, but my favourite character (aside from Bree) would have to be Sel. He’s so mysterious and broody, but I just know there’s a good guy underneath that façade!

I can’t wait to read book, I’m sure we’ll be in for another action-packed adventure that takes many turns we won’t be expecting!

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