About the Book:
Author: Tracy Deonn
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: September 15, 2020
Genre: YA Fantasy, YA retellings
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.
Amazing retelling! I love Arthurian stories, so I was very excited to pick this one up, and it did not let me down. This is easily one of my favorite reads from this year so far! There’s amazing world building, a unique magic system, and a diverse cast of characters that I fell in love with.
After a tragic accident in which she loses her mother, Bree Matthews doesn’t want anything to do with her home or her memories. A residential program for bright high school students at UNC-Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape, until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus. There’s a demon flying around feeding on human energies. A mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” attempts and fails to wipe Bree’s memory clean.
The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s buried memory with a hidden connection. On the night her mother died, there was another Merlin at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there may be more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she decides that she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth. She decides to infiltrate the Legendborn by becoming one of their initiates.
She recruits Nick, who is Legendborn, but holds a grudge against the group, and has exiled himself. Their partnership pulls them deep into the society’s secrets and closer to each other. A magical war is coming, and Bree must decide how far she’ll go for the truth.
I thought this was an incredible debut by Deonn. I was very impressed with how she handled grief and trauma, social issues, and racism. I highly recommend this one, and I am super excited for book two!
About the Author:
Tracy Deonn is a writer and 2nd gen fangirl. She grew up in North Carolina, where she devoured fantasy books and Southern food in equal measure. After earning two degrees from UNC-CH, Tracy worked in live theater, video games, and K-12 education. When she’s not writing, Tracy panels at SFF conventions, reads fanfic, arranges doggy playdates, and keeps an eye out for ginger-flavored everything.