Parents' Guide to

Legendborn

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Violent but riveting, inclusive Arthurian legend retelling.

Book Tracy Deonn Fantasy 2020
Legendborn book cover: Black teen girl with long curly hair looks straight ahead, one arm raised to shoulder level and wrapped in glowing red wisps, her other arm held up at hip level is wrapped in blue wisps, suggesting use of magic

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 13+

The most inclusive adventure filled book I've read

I loved so much about this book. It was jam packed with action and made it a total page turner. It's incredibly inclusive (there are LGBTQ+ characters and relationships) and touches on America's history in ways that we're heartbreaking but informative. There is some violence and death and a bit of swearing. No actual sex is described but someone is referred to as "a sex demon." There is a mention of a rape - but written in a way that is not graphic or detailed.
age 11+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (9 ):

Tracy Deonn's contemporary fantasy blends traditional elements of Arthurian legend with a page-turning plot, a fabulous protagonist, a thoughtfully diverse cast of characters, and a sweet romance. Legendborn leans into issues of race in a unique way, particularly with how it depicts microaggressions that Bree encounters on a daily basis. She also has to discover and unpack hard truths about her past, including how her African American rootcraft magic is mingled with the violence of enslavement. These issues are woven in organically, so by the time the big reveals happen, readers already understand exactly how those plot twists are justified by the text and by history itself.

Deonn's world-building is extensive, though fans of contemporary fantasy will be familiar with stories that explore the magic surrounding ordinary life (Mortal Instruments books by Cassandra Clare or Leigh Bardugo's Ninth House). The young characters in Legendborn are complex and diverse: There's Black, Taiwanese American, and Venezuelan racial representation; important women characters; and a range of sexual and gender identities, including a nonbinary character, a lesbian, two bisexual characters, a gay character, and a queer couple. The introduction of rootcraft (African American magic) and how it differs from the magic that the Legendborn use is fascinating and connected to historical, if upsetting, truths. While at its heart a Chosen One tale, Legendborn is full of characters to root for and juicy plot developments that should make the next installment just as satisfying.

Book Details

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