by Tracy Deonn
Published by Simon & Schuster
Release Date: September 15th 2020
Genres: Diverse, Fantasy, LGBTQ+, Mythology, Urban Fantasy, YA
Format Read: ARC
Buy on Amazon
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.
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Calling all King Arthur fans, this book will be your newest obsession. I’ve come across a lot of interpretations of the legend of King Arthur, but this one is the most unique. I had a lot of fun reading this book, and I think you will too.
The main character of this book is Bree Matthews, a 16-year-old who has just lost her mother. Now, she’s attending classes at UNC as part of the early college program with her best friend. Bree has dreamed of getting into this program, but it’s jaded now by her mom’s disapproval. Bree and her mom hadn’t had a chance to resolve their argument before her mom died in a car accident. Now, she’s at UNC, but it’s not like she pictured. One day, she comes across magic and demons, and she realizes that UNC really isn’t like she pictured.
That’s all I’ll say about the plot. My advice for readers is to always go in blind. It’s much more fun that way.
What I will say about this book is that it’s incredibly diverse and inclusive. Tracy Deonn shows what it’s like for a young black woman, like Bree, to grow up in the South. She discusses the history of slavery and how that still affects people to this day. She also includes a cast full of diverse representation. Bree’s best friend, Alice, is Taiwanese-American and lesbian. There are also two bi side characters, a gay character, and a non-binary character!
I only have two complaints about this book. My first complaint is that this book is pretty long, and it felt long. It’s 512 pages, and usually, I’m all for a long book–the bigger, the better– but the pacing in this book was a bit slow for me. I put this book down for a while because it wasn’t fully captivating my attention. However, don’t let this dissuade you from reading this book because the last 30% of the book was PHENOMENAL. I couldn’t put the book down. I had to see what would happen next. My second complaint is that there are a lot of tropes in this book. Like a lot. There is insta-love (though it’s written well), the chosen one trope, and a love triangle. Albeit, the love triangle doesn’t really start to form until the second half of the book. Oh, both of the love interests are also tropes. We have the golden boy on one side of the triangle, and the dark, mysterious bad boy on the other. Whoever will she choose?
I’m not a fan of love triangles–at all–so when my spidey senses started tingling, I prayed I was wrong. Alas, I was not. There will be a love triangle in the next book. *Sigh*
That being said, I thought this was a pretty solid debut. It’s also one of the best YA urban fantasy books I’ve read lately. I feel like there really aren’t that many YA urban fantasy books, which is sad because I adore that genre. This book is perfect for fans of the Legend of King Arthur, urban fantasy, and diverse books! If you fall into one of those categories, then you should pick this book up!
Hi, I’m Skye! I’m a college student by day and a bookstagrammer and book blogger by night. 😉 I’m also fluent in the language of sarcasm, so my kryptonite in any book is great witty banter.
Check out my Instagram account if you want to see my latest book obsessions! Also, feel free to reach out to me on social media if you ever need someone to fangirl with! I love meeting new bookish friends. 🙂