Legendborn by Tracy Deonn | Book Review
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After an accident takes the life of Bree’s mother, her life begins to fall apart. Bree bottles up all the anger and grief she feels so tight she is unable to move on. To escape the memories and anything that may trigger what she’s hidden inside herself, she enrolls in a beginning college program at UNC-Chapel Hill. But her first night on campus will reveal a hidden world of magic, demons, and ancient Arthurian legends. A world that may have taken her mother’s life. Determined to find the truth about her mother’s death, Bree infiltrates the world of the Legendborn. And as she forges her own path within the secret society, she will uncover hidden truths about her ancestry and her mother’s death.
There is a heavy dose of world-building as the Legendborn story unfolds. Between how the hidden world of magic works, and the Legendborn secret society itself, be braced for a large amount of information. However, don’t fret, because even though readers are given a lot to process, the story will build on what is given to the reader. The plot will call back to pieces of history and world-building as Bree journeys farther into the depths of Legendborn society, accenting what the reader knows with plenty of action and drama.
A wide variety of relationships are displayed throughout this story; familial, friendship, and community alike. When Bree is among the Legendborn community, there are many displays of racism, microaggression, and unconscious bias toward Bree. Tracy Deonn has woven these eye-opening experiences so well into the story, and it is heartbreaking to see them happen. But they happen every day in our world, not just in the world of Legendborn. I grew angered at members of the society who treated Bree as if she were less simply for having a different skin color. Bree did gain a support system within the society, but prejudice is long ingrained in a number of the society members.
Learning to cope with the loss of a parent is another strong theme within Legendborn. By bottling everything up, Bree is unable to process the emotions raging inside of her mind. Frustration and anger quickly rise to the surface and impact how she deals with people and situations. Witnessing Bree uncover her family’s history to learn how to let go and allow herself to experience grief was powerful.
There are so many elements to Legendborn, and the amount of challenges Bree faces are astounding. Seeing her develop and overcome these challenges was as heartbreaking as it was rewarding. And with the way Legendborn ended, I cannot wait to see what direction the next story takes.
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