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Legendborn- diversity done right

Legendborn- diversity done right

A mysterious death, ferocious beasts on a college campus, and a mind wiping merlin. This is the energizing world that the “Legendborn” trilogy by Tracy Deon creates. Legendborn is the story of how Bree Matthews, an African American woman, is thrust into the world of a secret magic society after her mother dies under mysterious circumstances and she sees something she’s not supposed to.   

The book was released in late 2020. It was somewhat talked about but didn’t really pick up amongst readers until about May 2022, the same year that Bloodmarked, the most recent continuance of the trilogy, was released.  

Being on social media at the time, the book caught my attention because it was a fantasy book focusing solely on a black woman and people of all races were talking about it. But being busy and not knowing when I could finally get the book, I pushed it to the back of my mind until recently, that is. To say that I enjoyed it would be an understatement.   

After having read my fair share of diverse fantasy books and, some not so diverse, I can say with confidence that Legendborn is unique in the way it depicts a black woman not as the sassy best friend, comedic relief, or the character who dies as a lesson to the main character, but as a hero.  

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Not only this, but Legendborn does not deny that Bree is a black woman. It embraces and involves it in the most raw and genuine way. The book itself confronts the conversations that are hard for some to face in an unapologetic but seamless way that is relevant to the story.  

Topics of slavery and its effects, racism, and being black in white spaces are all brought up without feeling forced. The main character, Bree, is realistic and likable, which is not something I find true often. She isn’t some damsel in distress or oblivious to the world around her. She is clever, outspoken, and driven. The best part is that she does this without falling into the “strong black woman” stereotype.   

Is she strong and capable?   

Yes, but she is also vulnerable and human.   

Her strengths as a character are both how strong and confident, she is, but also her willingness to trust and care for those she loves.  

   

Even more, Deon’s writing style is impeccable and will keep you reading for hours without even realizing it. You’ll find yourself stopping, then picking it right back up to see what happens next. I had initially read the book because I found it hard to read many of the book recommendations I had been getting.  

  

 Not only did Legendborn bring me out of this, but it made me realize that the reason I had been finding it so hard to read was because I couldn’t see myself in other characters, in the way I could see myself in Bree.  

 

Legendborn is worthy of all the praise and more. Its sequel Bloodmarked, despite ending on a cliffhanger, is just as exceptional and worthy of reading. The third book is expected to be released sometime in 2024, but no definite news about the date has been released yet. 

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About the Contributor
Fenou Zinzindohoue, Reporter
My name’s Fenou, I’m a sophomore. I like long walks to target and smelling scents at bath and body work’s. I like writing too.
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