Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
4 of 5 stars
Thank you to Simon & Schuster for approving an ARC copy of this for me!
This comes out on September the 15th, so check it out if you are
I had a *lot* of fun reading this book
and I recommend that people give it a shot :D
I will be honest and
say that at first this book got off to a rough start for me, mostly because
we’re thrown right into the story with a grieving Bree and we’re learning at the
same time that she does. An author has to be careful to introduce this the right
way, and there were times when I was a bit confused as to what was going on or
trying to wrap my head around things.
However in spite of this rocky
beginning, the book really builds upon itself and constructs a fascinating world
that’s based on famous legends but brings its own unique twist to it. What I
really loved about this book is that this take is truly interesting on its own
merit, it’s not just relying on the strength of the legend to carry the book and
capture our attention and keep it. Retellings abound in fantasy and I love it
when we get one that is well constructed and the author truly has their own
voice and breathes new life into it. The familiar is there, but so is new stuff
to be intrigued by!
Bree as a character is someone who I could
instantly sympathize with. She’s lost her mother and she has so much rage and
pain inside her, and a desire to do something that will somehow make up for her
mother’s death. This sometimes means that her choices aren’t the best, but
they’re still understandable and relatable. She's human and she's a teenager who
has lost her mother, who happens to be dealing with some pretty crazy and weird
stuff going on. She has her faults but she is also strong in a lot of ways and
well rounded, which I really enjoyed.
This book also takes racism by
the horns and I appreciated that. It’s not the forefront of the story but it is
woven through it because it reflects how things actually are here and now for
girls like Bree and POC in general. There may be all sorts of supernatural
things in this book but she still lives in our world, and deals with our
reality. And oh, I loved how strong Bree was and how she didn’t take shit from
anyone. She’s not afraid to speak up for herself, and that bravery extends from
calling out racist behaviour to fighting off creatures trying to kill her.
Some of the other characters fell a lot short for me (the best
friend is kind of shitty, and we have the usual trope of 'all the guys are
gorgeous', but nothing too bad. The cast is diverse and I'm looking forward to
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