31 July, 2018

[Review] Furyborn by Claire LeGrand

Series: Empirium #1
Release Date:22 May, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Young Adult/Epic Fantasy/Political Fantasy/Romance/Time Travel/Magic
ISBN: 9781492656623
Edition: Hardback
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Written: 14 July, 2018
Summary:Follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world...or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed...unless the trials kill her first.

A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable--until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world--and of each other.

See more by Claire LeGrand at her Website.

Furyborn is an interesting novel thanks in part to the lovely world building by LeGrand. The prologue, which features the penultimate moment before everything that has been known shatters, will grip readers into this highly anticipated story. Centered around two women, Rielle and Eliana seemingly born centuries apart, but both destined for the same greatness. The prophecy foretold two queens, one of Blood and one of Light, who would bring about the downfall of the world and help rebuild it. The queens, always seen as bookends to the world’s destruction by the return of the angels and the end of them too. Rielle, who has has spent her entire life trying to suppress the amount of power and her ability to use all seven of the legendary elements, has decided to join a horse race without her father’s knowledge.

Racing with her best friend, Audric, she’s hopeful to win in order to prove that she can control herself around others. Instead, she starts the ball rolling for the prophecy as she unleashes large amounts of power in order to save Audric. Deemed a threat to the monarchy if she’s the Queen of Blood, Rielle accepts the challenge of following through a series of 7 trials, one for each element, to prove otherwise. While following along with Rielle’s trials, readers are also introduced to Eliana. Supposedly born a millenia later, Eliana makes a living by being one of the Empire’s best assassins. It’s not a pleasant job, but it keeps her family fed and a roof over their heads. Even if she has to lie to herself about not caring what happens.

When her mother is taken, Eliana launches into a quest to find her and ends up crossing path with an assassin called the Wolf. Though he seems convinced that she’s something more, Eliana only makes a deal to join him to ensure safety for her younger brother and to find her mother. Instead she’s pulled on a journey across country, to assist into returning a princess to the only free country left. LeGrand entices readers while masterfully bouncing back and forth between each storyline. Each chapter leaves a slight cliffhanger at the end, to pull readers back into the story.

As was the case with Ash Princess, Furyborn has some portrayal of murder and death. While it doesn’t feature rape, it does feature some violence, so readers should be cautious. This book is definitely a mid to higher level YA book, and should probably be offered to teens 15 and up. Readers will have to decide for themselves if Rielle is truly the Blood Queen or if perhaps the prophecy was interpreted wrong.

I look forward to reading the next in the Empirium series, in hopes that it matches the bar that LeGrand has set for herself.

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