Review: The Lynburn Legacy by Sarah Rees Brennan

Book Reviews

The Lynburn Legacy

The Lynburn Legacy has to be one of the best discoveries I’ve ever made. I can’t remember where I first heard about Unspoken but I was charmed by the illustrated cover and drawn in by the promise of Gothicness and romantic entanglements with imaginary boys. I even went to the library in the next county over to get it! What I didn’t expect was how hilarious it was, and how charming and heartbreaking it would be. Basically, Unspoken had fantastic voice and characters. I loved the setting, the plot, the dialogue, everything. Sarah Rees Brennan does a wonderful job of juxtaposing snark and humor with serious situations, a very real sort of reaction in my opinion. It’s also Gothic at heart; there’s spooky unease and magic in the air throughout the book. It’s very atmospheric and a good read for fall. The downside? SRB is the master of the gut punch cliffhanger! But luckily for you, dear readers, you can binge read to your heart’s content with all three books out now! Takes the sting away :)

Kami Glass is one of my favorite characters ever, in anything- she’s so REAL and spirited and hilarious. I love her sarcasm and her humor, how deeply she loves her family and her friends. She’s fascinating to me. And you know I love Jared, wounded and mean as he sometimes is. He’s not like other leads that can come off as a-holes. Yeah, Jared says and does things he shouldn’t but it never crossed that line for me. He was still thoughtful, confused, loyal Jared underneath the hurt (also swoooon!). Angela is more than the Mean Girl. Holly is more than the Air Head. Just great character arcs in general.

I’m going to try to keep this as spoiler-free as possible. One of the strengths of The Lynburn Legacy (of which there are many) is its relationships between characters. Familial, romantic, platonic- they all shine in different ways and all the characters have interesting relationships with each other, like a real group of people would. I love Kami and Angie’s friendship, opposites to the core but best friends all the same. I also find Rusty fascinating; it was nice to get a more in-depth view of him in Untold (Book 2) instead of the silliness he always projects.

One of my other favorite things about this series is all the parents! Parents everywhere! That’s SO rare in YA. Kami’s dad is really awesome- I always picture him like the dad from My Neighbor Totoro haha. But yeah, so much of the book revolves around moms and dads and their relationships (or lack thereof) with their kids. It adds nice layers to the story. I love that the action is mainly contained to the sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale; it’s not a plan for world domination. I also loved how Kami dove into the archives and the history of the town to learn more about the Lynburns. I’m a big fan anytime the past directly affects the characters in the present.

The pacing in general is fantastic. Untold picks up right after Unspoken and Unmade picks up a couple months after Untold. Each book simmers with strangeness and tension but it’s non-stop action and uncovering mysteries and ROMANCE the whole time. Oh my god. The romance. For everyone. Love love love all that happened! All the confusion and the mixed up signals (which I usually hate) and the kissing oh my goddddd the swoony kissing. God. Just perfect.

I love the Gothic atmosphere of these books, the diversity (half-Asian heroines! Gay and bisexual characters!), the history, the magic, the mystery, the sleepy town, the ruthlessness, the characters. I love it all. I even adore the name of the series! And Unmade was the cherry on top. A practically perfect wrap up with so much humor and tears and darkness and light. I had a few quibbles but there are spoilerific and not enough to tarnish my overall impression. Such a brilliant trilogy that I wish more people read.

Series Info

The Lynburn Legacy by Sarah Rees Brennan
Series: The Lynburn Legacy
Published by Random House
Source: Purchased
Genres: FantasyRomanceYoung Adult


Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?


It’s time to choose sides….

On the surface, Sorry-in-the-Vale is a sleepy English town. But Kami Glass knows the truth. Sorry-in-the-Vale is full of magic. In the old days, the Lynburn family ruled with fear, terrifying the people into submission in order to kill for blood and power. Now the Lynburns are back, and Rob Lynburn is gathering sorcerers so that the town can return to the old ways.

But Rob and his followers aren’t the only sorcerers in town. A decision must be made: pay the blood sacrifice, or fight. For Kami, this means more than just choosing between good and evil. With her link to Jared Lynburn severed, she’s now free to love anyone she chooses. But who should that be?

A darkly humorous take on Gothic romance, Sarah Rees Brennan’s Lynburn Legacy weaves together the tale of a heroine desperate to protect those she loves, two boys hoping to be saved, and the magical forces that will shape their destiny.


Powerful love comes with a price. Who will be the sacrifice?

Kami has lost the boy she loves, is tied to a boy she does not, and faces an enemy more powerful than ever before. With Jared missing for months and presumed dead, Kami must rely on her new magical link with Ash for the strength to face the evil spreading through her town.

Rob Lynburn is now the master of Sorry-in-the-Vale, and he demands a death. Kami will use every tool at her disposal to stop him. Together with Rusty, Angela, and Holly, she uncovers a secret that might be the key to saving the town. But with knowledge comes responsibility—and a painful choice. A choice that will risk not only Kami’s life, but also the lives of those she loves most.

As coauthor with Cassandra Clare of the bestselling Bane Chronicles, Sarah Rees Brennan has mastered the art of the page-turner. This final book in the Lynburn Legacy is a wild, entertaining ride from beginning to shocking end.

About Sarah Rees Brennan

Sarah Rees Brennan was born and raised in Ireland by the sea, where her teachers valiantly tried to make her fluent in Irish (she wants you to know it’s not called Gaelic) but she chose to read books under her desk in class instead. The books most often found under her desk were Jane Austen, Margaret Mahy, Anthony Trollope, Robin McKinley and Diana Wynne Jones, and she still loves them all today.

After college she lived briefly in New York and somehow survived in spite of her habit of hitching lifts in fire engines. She began working on The Demon’s Lexicon while doing a Creative Writing MA and library work in Surrey, England. Since then she has returned to Ireland to write and use as a home base for future adventures. Her Irish is still woeful, but she feels the books under the desk were worth it.

Morgan @ Gone with the Words

12 Responses to “Review: The Lynburn Legacy by Sarah Rees Brennan”

  1. Avatar

    Asheley (@BookwormAsheley)

    This is a great series review! I only recently heard of this series with the release of the final book, but I’m thinking that I may enjoy it. And these covers are SO PRETTY when they’re side-by-side like you’ve placed them up there. I love that you mention the parents galore, because I agree about the absentee-parent/poor-parent trope in YA. I don’t know, I think I’d like to give these a go! Thanks!! (:

    • Avatar

      Morgan @ Gone with the Words

      Thank you! Yes they look gorgeous together, although I do sometime wish they had stuck with the original Unspoken cover. I think if you *think* you’d like these from reading my review then you DEFINITELY would! It’s the kind of series that sneaks up on you with awesomeness. Hope you give them a try!

  2. Avatar


    I can’t wait to read UNMADE. SRB’s relationships are among my favorites ever. I will never get over the Ryves brothers . . .

  3. Avatar

    Amber Elise

    This series surprised the hell out of me. I started off so innocent and carefree and now I hear that Unmade has made people CRY numerous times. I don’t think I can handle it! I love all of Sarah’s characters so much, I don’t want to say goodbye!

    Amber Elise @Du Livre

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      Morgan @ Gone with the Words

      Me too! I didn’t expect them to be so dark and emotional but the way she mixes it with the comedy and romance is perfect. Ahhh I know the feeling but luckily that is what rereading is for! Trying to fit more in these days :) I hope you don’t torture yourself too long and read Unmade soon!

    • Avatar

      Morgan @ Gone with the Words

      Thanks for commenting! The covers are gorgeous and yes the parents are great. Well, some are evil but they’re still around in any case ;) Hope you give the series a try! I don’t read much New Adult but I’ll look up Christina Lee.

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    Nicole @ The Quiet Concert

    I LOVED Unspoken. But that ending was a punch to the gut and I was warned NOT to read Untold until Unmade was out so I haven’t finished this series yet. But I will soon! I’m scared/anxious/excited to see where Kami and Jared’s relationship goes. EEP. I should read these books soon. So glad you loved them!

    • Avatar

      Morgan @ Gone with the Words

      Haha very smart! I’m a masochist and can’t wait that long for a new book in a series usually, I’d rather suffer on the cliffhanger I guess :) I did love them, thanks for commenting! And you will definitely love the last two, they only get better. And worse for the characters. But sometimes better… rocky sailing and swoons ahead :D Haha.

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    Hannah @ So Obsessed With

    MORGANNNNN!!!! You already know how much I love this post – and I LOVE that we both ended up talking about this series in the same week :) You’re part of the reason I wanted to read these books. Once we became friends on Goodreads, I noticed that you’d loved the first two and suddenly I was curious. Had I dismissed these books too soon? Obviously the answer was yes, and I’m SO GLAD that I gave this series a shot. I never expected it to become one of my favorite series EVER.

    This is such a great series review, too! If I was more succinct in my post, I would have wanted it to sound just like this one. I completely agree that Brennan excels at relationships in all varieties. That’s what made me fall in love with these stories! AND OMG THE ROMANCE. Don’t even get me started on how much I was swooning while reading these. EEK! I agree that the pacing was perfection & the humor was just such an unexpected (but delightful!) surprise. Now you’ve made me want to read these all over again…

    • Avatar

      Morgan @ Gone with the Words

      HANNAHHH! Thank you for your lovely comment! I really love that we both had posts at the same time too, hopefully we peer pressured a lot of people into reading it hahah. And I’m glad my reviews helped you decide! That’s always nice to hear :)

      Oh gosh I feel like I rambled but that’s how it happens. This will be a fun straight-through reread someday! I always seemed to lose track of the Matthew storyline. Maybe for your 2015 reread challenge :D

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