Filled with mystery and an intriguingly rich magic system, Tracy Deonn's YA contemporary fantasy Legendborn offers the dark allure of City of Bones with a modern-day twist on a classic legend and a lot of Southern Black Girl Magic. An explosive fantasy debut that's perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, Leigh Bardugo, Sarah J. Maas and Cinderella is Dead!
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 programme 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.
Praise for Legendborn: "A King Arthur reimagining that adds seats to the roundtable, inviting new readers to find themselves within its lore, Tracy Deonn's Legendborn braids southern folk traditions and Black Girl Magic into a searing modern tale of grief, power and self-discovery.
" Dhonielle Clayton "Legendborn is an enthralling, standout modern fantasy about history and power, and Deonn is an author to watch." Kiersten White "Legendborn is intoxicating, electrifying, and resonates with a deep understanding and vulnerable adoration of what it is to be a Black girl searching for the magic of herself.
Tracy Deonn captivates you from page one with her perfect pacing, exhilarating plotting, and a command of storytelling that cannot be ignored. This book will hold everything you are hostage until, page by page, you discover how it has actually set you free." L. L.
McKinney "Perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare and Kiersten White, Tracy Deonn's unique reimagining of Arthurian legend is full of magic and heart. A brilliant debut!" Ashley Poston "this is the fantasy novel for all once and future fans of suspense-filled storytelling" Kirkus Reviews "A promising series debut perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare's City of Bones and Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys. This book underscores the movement for more inclusive versions of traditional Western narratives, and will be a favourite of contemporary fantasy readers.
Highly recommended" School Library Journal STARRED REVIEW "explores themes of ancestral pain, grief and love, balancing them with stimulating world-building and multiple thrilling plot twists" Publishers Weekly "An intoxicating mix of Southern Black traditions, the King Arthur mythos and teenage melodrama." Tor.com