Hello Gemmies! I have an exciting book review to share with you today. Please note: I received a digital ARC of this book (via NetGalley) from its publisher in exchange for an honest and fair review.
Legendborn by Tracy Deonn is a fantasy YA retelling of the Arthurian legend. This book absolutely blew me away! It is so much more than I hoped for and better than anything I even knew I wanted. Legendborn is an engaging, fast paced, page-turning thrill ride, full of secret societies, magic, historical references, demons, ancestors, and Southern Black Girl Magic. There are themes of sisterhood, dealing with grief and trauma, connecting with your ancestors, self discovery, love, betrayal, greed, racism, strength and perseverance.
There is so much to unpack! Let's start with the world building. Tracy Deonn has created a lush vivid world that has various timelines, rich history, complex magical and belief systems, and super scary monsters! This unique story is not only beautifully written, it is full of diverse, complex, interesting characters. Bree as a main character is relatable and endearing. I found myself fully invested in her and rooting for her every step of the way. The sisterhood between Alice and Bree was amazing, from sharing the pain of hair wash day to having each others backs no matter what. I felt so many emotions reading this novel....happiness, sadness, outrage, fear, and anticipation. Although entertaining, Tracy Deoon also gives us a thought-provoking look at some serious topics including the dark legacy of racism, enslavement, and the exploitation of Blacks in America, specifically the American South. This book is a reminder that we still have a long way to go towards equality and removing the practices and thoughts of systemic racism.
If you are a fan of Black Girl Magic, love, sisterhood, sacrifice, communing with the ancestors, overcoming grief, secret societies, and diverse King Arthur retellings, then go read this book! This gem published by Margaret K. McElderry Books is available for pre-order from all major booksellers. I give Legendborn 5 out of 5 gems. I cannot wait for this book to be out in the world for everyone to enjoy! Happy Reading!