Published by Month9Books on September 4, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Mystery, Fantasy, Paranormal
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No one should ever go into the woods alone.
Brielle has grown up listening to tales of a beast that attacks humans, leaving behind only a scattering of bones and limbs. It’s probably the elders’ way of keeping little children in line, but it doesn’t explain her grisly premonitions of blood, claws, and severed heads.
But when Brielle finds a mangled body in the woods, she begins to wonder if the grim stories may actually be true. Soon, Lord Kenrick, Knight of the Crowhurst Order, arrives asking questions about the legendary monster. Brielle’s attraction to him is immediate and undeniable. She volunteers to help him search for clues to the creature’s existence, despite her suspicions about his timing.
As her seventeenth birthday approaches, Brielle’s nightmares worsen and more villagers go missing. If Brielle doesn’t figure out the connection between Kenrick, the beast, and her visions, more people will die. As Brielle falls deeper in love with Kenrick and deeper into the snares of the abominable beast, she’ll become part of a legend so great, no one will ever question its validity again.
Legend of Me and I had a rocky start. The writing was easy enough to get into and I ended up getting into the story, but there were small details that really hindered my enjoyment of the book. All in all, it was a decent fantasy that, although predictable, provided a nice escape from reality. It has a pretty dark atmosphere though, I would warn, and deals with intense subjects such as death and torture. Brielle is a pretty straightforward and curious character who is determined to outwit the Beast that may or may not be plaguing her village, all the while seeing mysterious, bloody dreams of the people disappearing.
- The main twist of the book is pretty fun, although readers are given pretty good hints as to what it is.
- I enjoyed Brielle’s friendship with Rhyne, a butcher boy in the village she lives in, and her grandmother, a healer.
- The atmosphere is really a winner. We’re in dark times at a village where one false move can have someone accused of being a witch and burned at the stake. The village is old-fashioned and full of gossipers, which is always a fun obstacle when the courageous heroine is trying to uncover clues.
- The ending was resolute and satisfying, wrapping the story up neatly to make a lovely stand-alone length. I do so love stand-alones.
(A lot of these are small details but they do add up!)
- Although I appreciate the dark atmosphere, the actual setting is a very generic historical village/forest. A lot of the magic/abilities are left unexplained.
- Use of the word G*psy to describe Roma.
- Extreme girl on girl hate. Brielle is the only girl in the village worth page time and a good ending.
- One of the main antagonists is fat, and the writing connects his evilness with descriptions of being fat. For example, his actions would be exacerbated with descriptions of his “sausage-like lips [curving] up at the corners” and “thick, evil mouth” which really casts a stigma for fat people that I don’t appreciate.
- While there is a love triangle that is set up pretty well, the execution left much to be desired. There is a weak foundation for both of the attractions that sprang up, and I read them more for plot than enjoyment. I think I would have appreciated the main love interest if we explored his character more, but for the most part the attraction was too strong and too fast.
- I wish Brielle were more assertive at times. Half of the book, she’s led by actions rather than leading the actions herself. Despite events still happening and the plot still rolling, it frustrated me as a reader to see her passiveness.
If quietly haunting, dark tales like The Beast is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale (review here) and The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins (review here) is up your alley, then Legend of Me would be perfect. (All of the books listed above also have mysterious beasts surrounding the main plot.) If you’re looking for something with more depth, then this one might not be for you. The storyline was the stellar point of this book for me, but other than that, I had a disconnect with the characters and many small details that just added up. It honestly depends on what you’re in the mood for, and how involved you want to get into the story. Legend of Me’s intense and ominous atmosphere, coupled with its tantalizing storyline but lackluster characters, would probably be best if you’re here for a fairy-tale story with minimal world-building and maximized storytelling and action.
Content/Trigger Warnings: blood and gore, torture, use of G*psy word, mild violence
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Thank you Month9Books for the review copy!