Bree Matthews is a 16-year-old Early College student attending the University of North Carolina shortly after the death of her mother. Her world expands around her to encompass strange creatures and magic that seem invisible to others and people who claim to be descendants from The Knights of the Round Table. As Bree searches for the truth about her mother’s death, she will uncover secrets hidden for centuries that will shift her existence and her fate into question.
I appreciated the diversity and representation in this novel. Not only was there a ton, but I felt that none of it was token, and Deonn presented it in such an amazing way. One character went by they/them pronouns and a few of the couples were same-sex couples, but it was stated as a fact. They existed and sometimes people showed bigotry towards them, but none of them were there only because of how they identified. Each one of them was so integral to the plot, and that made them so much more realistic and complex as characters.
The magic system in this world is like nothing I’ve ever encountered before. The Legendborn and the Merlin that protects them use aether that they pull from the earth and the surrounding air. Bree seems to have similar abilities with no training, but her powers remain a mystery even to herself until certain secrets known only by her distant ancestors come to light.
The thing I liked least was that Bree’s best friend, Alice Chen, doesn’t have many scenes to flesh out her character. I would have liked more time for her to show me her character. However, I know that the plot wouldn’t have supported that. It’s fair to speculate that her character will grow and round out as this series continues because of her inclusion in the climax of Legendborn.
My favourite aspect was how it all felt like an elaborate mystery. More than once, I was sure I had it figured out only to have another curve ball thrown my way. Bree went through a similar journey, thinking many times that the newest piece of information was the ultimate piece of the puzzle. There were so many unanswered questions right until the climax when everything is made clear.
After finishing the novel, I felt satisfied by the conclusion. I’m still itching for the next part of the story. I cannot wait to read more in the Legendborn universe and more from Tracy Deonn.
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