Synopsis: After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus. A flying demon feeding on human energies. A secret society of so called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down. And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts—and fails—to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw. The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates. She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn with his own grudge against the group, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society’s secrets—and closer to each other. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur’s knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down—or join the fight.
Opinion: This was my first fantasy read and I must say this definitely set the tone for future fantasy reads. This was amazing, but before I go their I will say I am a lover of fantasy shows but I have found myself staying away from the books because there have always been a lack of black protagonists in these books, and a lack of black fantasy writers when I was younger. Therefore fantasy books weren’t something that was of interest to me. However in my journey of discovering more black authors I have found several fantasy books with black protagonist written by black authors. I have purchased many and have them sitting on my bookshelf with the intent of reading them. 2020 was a year of romance for me but I told myself in 2021 I would finally branch out to other genres and read the fantasy books I have.
All the hype is what made me start with Legendborn and I am so glad I did. Bree was the definition of BLACK GIRL MAGIC. Bree was a 16 year old girl who was super smart and comfortable and confident in her blackness. Tracy Deonn did not shy away from the glories or struggles of being a black girl in a world that wasn’t meant for her, from the feeling of being the only black person in the room full of white people who look down on you, the struggles of trying to prove you belong, right down to snapping on someone who thinks its okay to put their hands in your hair, and how much time it takes to wash that coily big beautiful hair. I mean this was everything and even though I am a grown woman I could relate to Bree in all these areas.
The history in this book was another amazing aspect of the book. I often wish I could spend a day or take a “walk” with my ancestors to see what their life was like so for this to occur in the book to give Bree the full story of her family history was amazing. Tracy Deonn did a great job giving us historical facts in this book as well, I found myself googling several topics in the book.
The only thing I didn’t care for is the love triangle but that’s just because it just isn’t my thing however it fits into the story.
This was definitely a page turner, I was upset at myself for picking this book up during the busiest time of the month at work because I had less time to read so it took me a little longer to finish. Tracy just kept dropping bombs and I was so mad when I had to put the book down. Tracy captured my attention from the first page and kept my glued to this book in my spare time!
If I ever have a daughter this is definitely something I will give to her to read. This was a great read and a great way to start my fantasy journey. I was left with so many questions and can’t wait for book two