Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once in a while, I get the opportunity to read amazing fantasy and something inside me just blooms. I consider myself an avid reader now. But if you would’ve met me five years ago, I would have probably said that I read about five books a year.

I arrived very late at the party, discovering the joys of reading in my mid twenties. And once I got there, I had the feeling that I had missed so many amazing novels and somehow felt compelled to make up the time lost.

I think that every time I pick up a fantasy novel, especially the ones that are either recommended to me or put in front of me by my friends with a ‘you-will-thoroughly-enjoy-this’ label on them, I start to get skeptical. Not because I don’t trust them, but because I know that a part of me had wished that I had read it when I was younger. When I was the target audience for the book.

Tracy Deonn weaves a well-known legend with her unique ideas perfectly, trapping reader in an original tale of magic and secret societies.

Nonetheless, Legendborn is one of the novels that I wished had come out when I was in my teens. It is a modern, Arthurian Legend inspired fantasy novel with elements of RootCraft (magic drawn from the roots of plants). Tracy Deonn conjures a world that feels new and fresh and in my opinion like anything that I had read in recent fantasies.

There were so many aspects of this novel that I enjoyed, and some that I enjoyed a bit less.

Let me start by just giving a few examples of the things that I enjoyed in this novel. The characters are amazing. With some very few exceptions (which I will go into later in this review) are fleshed out from head to toe. I particularly enjoyed the attention with which Deonn creates side characters, that although (and I presume) won’t come to the forefront until maybe later on in the series, making them feel important throughout the novel even though they appear for one scene or two in the whole book.

Bree, the protagonist of the story and the main POV from which we see the events of the novel being played out is one of the strongest main characters I’ve read in a while in a YA Novel. She came off as loveable but at the same time not overly characterized to me, jumping straight off the page and by the end I felt like I had acquired a new friend rather than reading the events that happened to a stranger.

One of the things that came off to me as clunky was the characterization of Selwyn Kane. I know what Tracy Deonn wanted to achieve with this character but to be honest it didn’t work for me. There is more to be redeemed in the character before I can actually believe that he is trustworthy and wondered why Bree changed her demeanour around him so quickly. All in all he comes off as ‘too much’.

However I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I would gladly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys retellings of classical stories but also enjoy a good twist. Legendborn is a series that I will definitely will keep my eye on.