16-year-old Bree Matthews is living away from home for the first time. She’s dealing with the loss of her mother, and enrolled in a highly competitive academic program. I’ve always been fascinated by Arthurian retakes, but I haven’t read anything lately quite as brilliant as Legendborn. Deonn combines Southern Black culture and history, Arthurian myths, inherited trauma, grief, and more. The result is a smart, sharp urban fantasy that does not flinch or back down when talking about the legacy of chattel slavery and colonization. Oh, and the banter is world-class. What more could you want? Recommended By Mary Jo S., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Filled with mystery and an intriguingly rich magic system, Tracy Deonn's YA contemporary fantasy Legendborn offers the dark allure of City of Bones with a modern-day twist on a classic legend and a lot of Southern Black Girl Magic.
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.
"A promising series debut
perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare's City of Bones and Maggie
Stiefvater's The Raven Boys. This book underscores the movement for more
inclusive versions of traditional Western narratives, and will be a
favorite of contemporary fantasy readers." Abby Hargreaves, School Library Journal (Starred Review)
"Well-crafted allusions to
established legends and other literary works are delightful Easter eggs.
Don't look over sea or under stone, this is the fantasy novel for all
once and future fans of suspense-filled storytelling." Kirkus Reviews
"...Deonn adeptly employs the
haunting history of the American South ("the low buzzing sound of
exclusion") to explore themes of ancestral pain, grief, and love,
balancing them with stimulating worldbuilding and multiple thrilling
plot twists." Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Tracy Deonn is a writer and
second-generation fangirl. She grew up in central North Carolina, where
she devoured fantasy books and Southern food in equal measure. After
earning her master's degree in communication and performance studies
from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Tracy worked in
live theater, video game production, and K-12 education. When she's not
writing, Tracy speaks on panels at science fiction and fantasy
conventions, reads fanfic, arranges puppy playdates, and keeps an eye
out for ginger-flavored everything. She can be found on Twitter at
@TracyDeonn and at TracyDeonn.com.