Legendorn Book Review by Jaiden Heaton


Jaiden Heaton, Book Reviewer

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn is the first book in a trilogy. The novel follows the story of a girl named Bree as she discovers a world of magic (some in this book call aether) and demons. Her mother dies in a car accident, and Bree can’t deal with it, so she decides that a residential program for high schoolers is the perfect escape. However, she witnesses something she definitely shouldn’t, and it points to her mother’s life and death. She discovers a secret society full of legendborns, and they hunt down demons. Unfortunately, a merlin fails to do his job of erasing Bree’s memories, and her magic and secrets start to be revealed. Now Bree is determined to find the truth about her mother’s death at UNC-Chapel Hill. On this path, she meets Nick, and he’s a self-exiled legendborn that is hesitant to help her. As she discovers more about this world, she has to ask herself how far she will go down this dark path. The story is a King Arthur retelling, so if you like retellings, I recommend it.
I loved this book, especially its messages about grief, loss, and trauma. Tracy Deonn mentioned taking a lot of inspiration from her own life and experiences, which impacts the story by giving it a more accurate and believable feel. The inspirations taken from African American and West African histories and spiritual traditions were nice. Although expanding and taking inspiration from African history and religions is becoming more popular, it still needs to be more prevalent in literature. Another thing I liked was the relationships and how they were explored, the one I found most interesting was between Bree and her mother. The love triangle is exciting, and all the characters have chemistry and don’t feel forced, so I’m interested in where that will lead and play out. Finally, Bree, as a character, is likable, and even though some of the choices she makes can be selfish and less thought out at times, she still feels like she’s trying to do the right thing. These are reasons I like this book; however, there were a couple of things I didn’t like.
Things I didn’t like or what people might take issue with: From the time that Bree gets to UNC to the end of the book takes about one month. Almost everything takes place within at most one month; more time is needed. Also, the characters need more time to interact for me to believe they’ve grown as close as the book says. Another thing that I needed to change was the dialog; that’s not how anyone talks, let alone teens. This one wasn’t so bad; it’s just noticeable. Finally, I wish more was done with Alice-she’s Bree’s best friend. It’s a bit info-dumpy.
I gave this book 4.5 stars. Legendborn is part of a trilogy, and book two is called Bloodmarked and is out right now. I highly recommend this book, and it left me excited for the next installment in the series.