As the popularity of Tracy Deonn’s debut novel, Legendborn, continues to rise, readers are eager to discover other books with similar themes, diverse characters, and captivating storytelling. Fortunately, the young adult fantasy genre is full of fantastic books that are just as engaging as Legendborn.
Understanding the Core Themes of Legendborn
To truly appreciate the depth and complexity of Legendborn, it’s essential to understand the core themes that weave through the story. However, these themes are not just surface-level ideas; they are intricately woven into the fabric of the novel, adding layers of depth and meaning to the story.
Magic and Mythology
One of the most captivating aspects of Legendborn is its use of magic and mythology. Deonn deftly weaves in nods to Arthurian legend and other mythological creatures, creating a rich and immersive world for her readers. Through her writing, Deonn creates a magical world that is both familiar and new, drawing readers in with its intricate details and captivating characters.
However, the use of magic in Legendborn is not just for show. Magic plays an integral role in the story’s plot, and the way different characters use or abuse their abilities is a crucial element of the novel’s tension. As readers delve deeper into the world of Legendborn, they’ll discover that the magic is not just a tool for the characters, but a force that shapes their world and their lives.
Coming of Age and Self-Discovery
The novel’s protagonist, Bree Matthews, is grappling with issues that many young adults face: loss, identity, and finding a sense of purpose. As she navigates the world of magic and secret societies, she also confronts her own past and learns to embrace her unique strengths.
Through Bree’s journey, Deonn explores the complex process of growing up and discovering who you are. Bree’s struggles with grief and trauma are relatable to readers of all ages, and her journey towards self-discovery is both inspiring and thought-provoking.
Secret Societies and Hidden Worlds
The secret society at the heart of Legendborn adds an urgency and mystery to the story. As Bree discovers more about the organization, she realizes how deeply they are tied to her own family history and the secrets they’re hiding.
However, the secret society is not just a plot device. It represents a larger theme of hidden worlds and the power structures that exist within them. Deonn uses the society as a lens to explore the ways in which power is wielded and how those in positions of authority can use it to manipulate and control others.
Overall, Legendborn is a novel that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. Its core themes of magic, coming of age, and secret societies are woven together in a way that adds depth and meaning to the story. By exploring these themes, Deonn creates a novel that is both entertaining and thought-provoking, leaving readers with much to ponder long after they’ve finished reading.
Top Books with Similar Themes to Legendborn
The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
Set in an alternate version of Paris in the late 19th century, The Gilded Wolves features a diverse cast of characters who are all members of a secret society with magical abilities. They must work together to unravel a dangerous mystery and uncover hidden artifacts.
Readers who enjoyed the magical elements and secret societies in Legendborn will love The Gilded Wolves. Chokshi’s vivid descriptions of Paris and her intricate world-building will transport readers to another time and place.
The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
When wealthy and mysterious Tobias Hawthorne dies, he leaves his fortune to a teenager named Avery, whom he’s never met. To claim the inheritance, Avery must solve a puzzle full of clues hidden throughout Hawthorne’s estate, which puts her in danger.
Like Legendborn, The Inheritance Games features a strong female protagonist who must navigate a dangerous world to uncover the truth. Barnes’ fast-paced writing and intricate plot twists will keep readers on the edge of their seats.
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown
Set in a fictional West African-inspired world, A Song of Wraiths and Ruin tells the story of two young people, Karina and Malik, who are both fighting for their lives. Karina must assassinate Malik to save her family, while he’s desperate to bring his sister back from the dead.
Readers who enjoyed the diverse cast of characters and high-stakes action in Legendborn will appreciate A Song of Wraiths and Ruin. Brown’s lush descriptions of her world and the intricate mythology she’s created will captivate readers.
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
The first book in the popular Folk of the Air series, The Cruel Prince features a mortal girl named Jude who gets swept up in the world of faeries. To escape their cruelty and secure her place in their society, she must play a dangerous game of politics and intrigue.
Like Legendborn, The Cruel Prince features a strong female protagonist who must navigate a dangerous world full of magical creatures. Black’s vivid descriptions of the faerie world and the complex political machinations will keep readers hooked.
Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin
In a world where witches are hunted and burned at the stake, Louise le Blanc is a witch who has fled her coven and taken refuge in a city run by a repressive religious organization. When she’s forced to marry a witch hunter named Reid Diggory, the two must find a way to work together despite their deep philosophical differences.
Readers who enjoyed the forbidden romance and magical elements in Legendborn will love Serpent & Dove. Mahurin’s world-building and character development are top-notch, and her fast-paced writing will keep readers turning the pages.
Exploring Diverse Characters and Representation
The Importance of Inclusive Storytelling
One of the most significant factors in Legendborn’s success is its focus on inclusivity and representation. Deonn centers her story on a Black girl grappling with her identity and history, and other characters come from a wide range of backgrounds and sexual orientations.
This attention to representation is vital in young adult literature, where readers are looking to see themselves reflected in the stories they read. It’s important for young readers to see that people of all races, genders, and sexual orientations can be heroes and have their stories told.
When readers see themselves represented in literature, it can help them feel seen and validated. It can also help readers understand and empathize with people whose backgrounds and experiences are different from their own. This is why inclusive storytelling is so important, and why books like Legendborn are making such a significant impact.
Books with Strong Female Protagonists
Another critical element of Legendborn’s success is its protagonist, Bree Matthews. She’s smart, fierce, and determined to uncover the truth about her mother’s death, no matter what. Bree is an excellent example of a strong female protagonist, and there are many other great books out there that feature girls and women who are just as fierce and determined as she is.
If you’re looking for more stories with strong female leads, you might check out Fireborne by Rosaria Munda. In this book, two dragon-riding friends must compete against each other for a chance to become the next ruler of their kingdom. Both girls are strong, capable, and determined to succeed.
The Graceling series by Kristin Cashore is another great example of books with strong female protagonists. Each book in the series features a different female lead, all of whom are gifted with extraordinary abilities. These girls face challenges and obstacles, but they never give up.
Finally, if you’re looking for a book with a strong female lead who is also a skilled seamstress, check out Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim. In this book, a young girl named Maia disguises herself as a boy and competes in a competition to become the imperial tailor. Along the way, she faces danger, makes new friends, and falls in love.
Stories Featuring LGBTQ+ Characters
Representation of LGBTQ+ characters is increasingly important, and young adult literature is making great strides in that area. If you enjoyed the inclusion of LGBTQ+ characters in Legendborn, you might also enjoy books like Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas. In this book, a transgender Latinx boy named Yadriel accidentally summons the wrong spirit and must team up with his classmate Julian to set things right.
We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia is another great book that features LGBTQ+ characters. In this book, a young woman named Daniela is forced to marry a wealthy man as part of a dystopian society’s strict gender roles. However, she soon discovers a rebellion brewing and must decide where her loyalties lie.
Finally, The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar is a book about two girls who fall in love while competing against each other in a school business competition. This book explores themes of cultural identity, homophobia, and the challenges of being true to yourself.
Delving into the World of Young Adult Fantasy
The Evolution of YA Fantasy
Young adult fantasy has come a long way over the past few decades, evolving from tales of plucky girls in magical realms to complex, multi-layered stories with diverse characters and real-world stakes.
Legendborn is a prime example of this evolution, blending elements of classic fantasy with modern themes of identity and justice. Other notable YA fantasy titles include Sabriel by Garth Nix, Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor, and The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.
The Impact of Legendborn on the Genre
It’s clear that Legendborn has made a significant impact on the young adult fantasy genre, bringing new readers to the category and inspiring other writers to tell stories with diverse characters and themes.
As young adult literature continues to grow and evolve, it’s exciting to see what new voices and stories will emerge in the years to come.
Upcoming YA Fantasy Releases to Look Out For
With engaging characters, rich world-building, and thrilling plot twists, these books are sure to satisfy your appetite for adventure and magic.