Legendborn / Tracy Deonn.

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  • Additional Information
    • Publication Information:
      First Margaret K. McElderry Books edition.
    • Abstract:
      Summary: "To discover the truth behind her mother's mysterious death, a teen girl infiltrates a magical secret society claiming to be the descendants of King Arthur and his knights"-- Provided by publisher.
    • Abstract:
      Summary: After her mother dies in an accident, 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 young mage who calls himself a 'Merlin' attempts-- and fails-- to wipe Bree's memory of everything she saw. His 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 she'll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates. -- adapted from jacket
    • Notes:
      Series information from Goodreads.
    • Other Titles:
      Legend born.
    • ISBN:
    • Accession Number:
    • Accession Number:
    • Accession Number:


Booklist Reviews 2020 October #1

*Starred Review* Drenched in Southern magic, Deonn's first novel puts a modern spin on Arthurian myth while exploring themes of power and heroism, and challenging expectations and racial prejudice. After her mom's death, Bree Matthews, a Black 16-year-old, flees her childhood home by enrolling in UNC-Chapel Hill's Early College program. Bree witnesses a demon attack on campus, and a teenage mage (called a Merlin) tries unsuccessfully to erase her memory. Instead, he inadvertently uncovers a buried memory that reveals a Merlin's presence at the hospital when Bree's mother died, and that the mage erased that night's events from Bree's mind. To find answers, Bree infiltrates the Legendborn, a secret society (traditionally white and racist) descended from the Knights of the Round Table that hunts demons. When she learns that a war is brewing between the Legendborn and demonkind, she must decide how deep into the society she will plunge and if the Legendborn's war is hers to fight. Legendborn is a story about how old histories inform the present, new pathways forward are forged, and traumatic pasts, like those possessed by the descendants of slavery, are systematically buried, bringing overdue reckonings when unearthed. Deonn's contemporary fantasy is a cultural gem that will connect readers with their roots in the most gut-punching, unapologetic of ways. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

PW Reviews 2020 August #1

The African diaspora blends with Arthurian legend in Deonn's dynamic YA fantasy debut, reminiscent of City of Bones. On her first two nights at the University of North Carolina's Early College program, 16-year-old Bree Matthews, who is Black, witnesses otherworldly demonic attacks that most other students can't see. When a strong mage's attempt to alter Bree's memories fails, she recovers the recent events alongside a brief recollection from the night of her mother's death, three months prior—a fragment that she realizes another mesmerist sought to hide. Convinced the campus incidents have something to do with her mom's sudden end, Bree persuades peer mentor Nick to help her infiltrate the magical Order of the Round Table, the historically white, deeply racist secret society that he was born into, and which is committed to hunting the demons. Bree struggles as the Order's sole Black member and page, but outside Black female practitioners offer help via a different means of magic, and Bree must decide which path will give her the most answers about both her mother and herself. Though hazy exposition initially slows the narrative, Deonn adeptly employs the haunting history of the American South ("the low buzzing sound of exclusion") to explore themes of ancestral pain, grief, and love, balancing them with stimulating worldbuilding and multiple thrilling plot twists. Ages 14–up. Agent: Penny Moore, Aevitas Creative. (Sept.)

Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.