An Instant New York Times Bestseller!
Winner of the Coretta Scott King - John Steptoe for New Talent Author Award
Filled with mystery and an intriguingly rich magic system, Tracy Deonn’s YA contemporary fantasy reinvents the King Arthur legend and “braids together Southern folk traditions and Black Girl Magic into a searing modern tale of grief, power, and self-discovery” (Dhonielle Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of The Belles).
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.
This paperback edition of Legendborn contains a teaser to the thrilling sequel, Bloodmarked, as well as an exclusive short story from Selwyn Kane's perspective!
The African diaspora blends with Arthurian legend in Deonn's dynamic YA fantasy debut, reminiscent of City of Bones. On her first two nights at the University of North Carolina's Early College program, 16-year-old Bree Matthews, who is Black, witnesses otherworldly demonic attacks that most other students can't see. When a strong mage's attempt to alter Bree's memories fails, she recovers the recent events alongside a brief recollection from the night of her mother's death, three months prior a fragment that she realizes another mesmerist sought to hide. Convinced the campus incidents have something to do with her mom's sudden end, Bree persuades peer mentor Nick to help her infiltrate the magical Order of the Round Table, the historically white, deeply racist secret society that he was born into, and which is committed to hunting the demons. Bree struggles as the Order's sole Black member and page, but outside Black female practitioners offer help via a different means of magic, and Bree must decide which path will give her the most answers about both her mother and herself. Though hazy exposition initially slows the narrative, 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. Ages 14 up.
I was blown away
This is honestly one of the best books I’ve ever read. Every character was so well developed. The plot lines were all interesting in their own right, but when they intersected it was just amazing. This book was so extremely nuanced. The author did a wonderful job connecting the realism of race and racism with the fantastical elements of the story. It made the book all the more enjoyable because it was REAL. My favorite part, though, was the unpredictability. There were so many moments where I had absolutely no idea what the outcome of a plot line could be. I was on the edge of my figurative seat the entire time. Bree was written perfectly. She was the perfect main character. She was brave and courageous without being self sacrificing, and she was vulnerable and emotional without being annoying. As a young black girl, a female lead like Bree was something I always looked for in the books I read, but never quite found. Nick, ugh, I loved him right from the start. He was so charming and charismatic, I fell in love with him right along with Bree. Sel was the most perfect anti-hero/frenemies I could’ve asked for. He was someone I wanted to strangle, but also deeply admired as a character. The author did an amazing job of transitioning Sel from the character readers couldn’t stand, to someone we were rooting for by the end. The author’s writing sucked me into this world, The whole time I was reading, I felt like I was a part of their trials and tribulations. Bree was perfectly relatable, and I felt what she was feeling the whole time. This was spectacular; 10/10! Can’t wait for the sequel.
This book blew my mind. The masterful writing, intriguing story, it was all just so amazing. If you love fantasy this book is a must have. Even if the story was very insta-lovey, I still adore the lives interests (Sel) and would recommend this book to anyone and everyone!
LITERALLY AMAZING 10/10
words cannot describe how amazing this book is. its beautifully written, extremely accurate when it comes to the Black Girl experience, and the characters all have distinct personalities and are incredibly enjoyable to read. I especially loved Bree, Sel, and Nick! bree is an amazingly written character and as a black girl i really saw myself in her. its very rare to see black women in books especially as the main character so when i heard about legendborn i instantly knew i had to give it a read! when i first started reading i reallyyyy hated Sel, but as i started to read more his character really started growing on me 😭 i was shocked that by the time i finsihed reading i ended up really liking him!! i loved nick the minute he was introduced and loved him even more by the end, i cannot wait to see where this story goes and im 100% buying the next book whenever it release’s! 💕💕