Book Two of the Legendborn Cycle
Review posted August 15, 2023
Simon & Schuster Audio, 2022. 22 hours, 20 minutes.
Review written March 10, 2023, from a library book.
First, let me say that I love the premise of this fantasy series: A bunch of white guys have passed down ancestral magic from Arthur and the knights of the Round Table. But that magic has been completely disrupted because generations ago one of those white guys raped a woman he'd enslaved. And now the Scion of Arthur is a Black girl.
At the start of the book, I thought she was going to go through the rite, completely as expected, to officially become the ruling King. But I should have known that the regents currently in power would not let a Black girl reign over them. So things take a distinct turn from that point.
But while Bree is trying to figure out the power she inherited from Arthur, she's also trying to learn to use her Root Magic, which she inherited from her mother and her mother's mothers. And she learns about others who work with ether magic and demons who make bargains. All while staying away from those who want to capture her and negate her power.
Meanwhile, Nick, the Scion of Lancelot, is still kidnapped. But Bree learns she can visit him when she's in Arthur's memories. Also meanwhile, what's going on between her and the King's mage? I almost rolled my eyes when another powerful person they encounter seems to be attracted to Bree, too. But I did figure out that Bree cares deeply for her friends, and her friends will do much to save her.
I do have a complaint about how long the book is, but I've gotten spoiled by reading lots of children's books. I'm not even sure I could summarize what happened. (And I wouldn't anyway, because I don't want to give anything away.) But it's not like the action ever lagged. Some of it was hard to understand, especially what took place in dreamscapes or figuring out how bargains actually worked.
Another peeve was that the narrator consistently pronounced "Arthur" as "Author," and it made me a little crazy. I could chalk it up to the accent, but every single character pronounced it that way regardless of their background. I suppose it's possible that pronunciation is closer to the original old Welsh, but every time I heard it, I'd say "Arthur!" out loud, just to get it out of my system. (It didn't help that the audiobook I'd listened to before this one had a British character named Arthur, pronounced with the 'r' as I think it should be pronounced.) But I was too engaged in the story to stop listening.
I'm honestly not quite sure where things stand at the end of the book. But I'm quite sure that Bree will learn more about using her power, and that Tracy Deonn will take the reader along for the ride. And that I will want to be in on the action.