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  • Writer's pictureNicole Courtney

Legendborn Review

Name : Legendborn

By : Tracy Deonn

Genre : YA fantasy/ Arthurian retelling

Rating : ★★★★

This book is part of my 13 day book challenge for Summer 2021. The aim is to raise money for a pets shelter in Leicester, England, where I had gotten my rescue cat, Lancelot.

Legendborn is a retelling of the King Arthur legend, set in America with some pretty unique concepts.


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.

Overall Impressions

This book is pretty original. You can tell that the author had researched and used a lot of sources for the retelling of King Arthur. As a big King Arthur nerd myself, I was hyped to get this book started.

There was something heavy though. I can't exactly put it into words, but it took several attempts of reading, listening to the audio book to get through this book. It had some brilliant moments, lovely characters but at times it felt like expecting to jump in a lake, but ending up in a puddle.

Some parts of the book would make you go - "Oh ok, that's it?"

Maybe I look at the older books about King Arthur with a pink lens, but it almost felt like something was missing here. Still, it was an enjoyable read.

There was some great world building and your cast of characters is pretty diverse which is always a bonus.

Bree is a great protagonist and the book opened up some issues that black people face day to day that you may not think about if you are white. Something good to put into a story as it really makes you think.

Overall, If you like King Arthur retelling then give it a go - just keep in mind that this might not be your standard retelling.

Credit to Lancelot

Yes the cat was named after one of King Arthur's knights - can you tell that I am a King Arthur nerd? Anyway, I just wanted to mention how lucky I was to rescue this lovely kitty from a shelter and he in turn is a very supporting creature. Having Covid 19 while reading this book over the past week, Lancelot has provided me the much needed companionship by simply sitting next to me when he knew I felt sick.

If you can open up your heart to a rescue pet, its well worth it.

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