Title: FURYBORN (Empirium #1)
Author: Claire Legrand
Pub. Date: May 22nd, 2018
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Format: Physical ARC
*HUGE thanks to Sourcebooks Fire and Claire Legrand for the early review copy in exchange for my honest opinion
I was initially drawn to Furyborn when I heard it features two queens 1,000 years apart that are somehow connected…curious about the format of writing & just how exactly the author pulls it off, I knew I had to pick this one up. As fate would have it, I was asked to join a buddy read & thought to myself ahhh well this is just Kismet! It’s been 2 weeks since I finished this book & I can’t get it out of my head, it was that awesome! my review/rating is based on my enjoyment of the story, characters, and world-building. Were there some flaws? sure. Will I be continuing on with this trilogy? ABSOFRIGGINLUTELY! 💜
Told in multiple POVS’ we get introduced to both Queen Rielle & Eliana as they live out what has been prophesied without their knowledge. In what has to be one of the BEST Prologues I’ve ever read, we get a blast from Rielle’s past as her journey comes to an end (not a spoiler, Rielle lived 1,000 years ago & Eliana is present day) & also serves as the jumping board for many theories.
Before Rielle became Queen, she lived with her father who served the royal family. Rielle is very powerful & her abilities are a source of great concern for her father who keeps her indoors as much as possible. With the help of Tal a Firebrand (I kid you not this guy gives off Hunger Games Haymitch vibes later on in the book 😂), Rielle trains to control her abilities. However, Rielle isn’t one to be controlled & has taken a interest in horse races on the low (not betting on them, she full out has a alias as a rider). It’s actually something she shares in common with the crown Prince Audric & during one of their races, Rielle thwarts an attempt to kill Prince Audric led by men in disguise. In doing so, Rielle exposes her abilities to wield more than one elemental magic. In a land filled with Windsingers, Earth Shakers, Firebrands, Metal Masters, & Sun Spinners…those who posses magic in their blood can only wield one type. However, there is a prophecy the people of Celdaria know well…
“Two Queens will rise. They will carry the power of the seven. They will carry your fate in their hands. Two Queens will rise”
Rielle’s exposure brings focus to the prophecy which also speaks of the return of humankind’s #1 enemy, the angels. Angels have been kept away from mankind ever since the Gate was built to keep them out. Although it is just a prophecy, the kingdom is forced to take it seriously & so Rielle must go through the Seven Trials. These trials are designed by the heads of each elemental magic & the purpose is to see whether Rielle is the prophesied Sun Queen (or Blood Queen)…
Via alternating chapters. 1,000 years in the future we follow Eliana aka the “Dread Of Orline” who is really just trying to keep herself & her family alive. Eliana works for the Emperor by finding & bringing back anyone who is against him, especially any rebels from Red Crown. Skilled with her weapons Arabeth, Whistler, Tempest, Nox, and Tuora there really is no stopping her. She has fully flipped the switch on her humanity by capturing innocents in exchange for a safe home & coin to eat. Eliana’s present day world is one without magic, the time & seven trials of Queen Rielle are just fairy tales. This all changes when her mother is kidnapped and her whole world is turned upside down. Her hunt for those who abducted her mother along with many of the young females in the area, place her on a crash course with Rebel Captain Simon. Nothing is as it seems in the Empire & Simon carries many pieces of the puzzle…
Rielle Dardenne & Eliana Ferracora are the main protagonists in this dual POV story & although their stories take place 1,000 years apart, their lives run parallel pulling off the whole “fates aligned” vibe really well. Both Rielle & Eliana are rebels at ♥️ & they both are also able to manipulate the seven elements. It took some warming up to Eliana but I soon realized it was all a part of her character’s personal growth. Since I spoke so much of these two in my 411 portion up above, this section will focus more on the MOST amazing side characters you’re going to want to meet…
Remy Ferracora aka Eliana’s little brother who loves to bake & read books was after my 💜! he loves Fantasy & everyone he comes across is drawn to him like honey…I LOVE REMY! 😄
“What is this child, who knows so much of the world?” Her expression turned tender. “Oh, sweet one. You are a dreamer, a teller of tales. I see that now. You ache for magic, and for all those golden giants of the past.” Remy flushed with pleasure. “Before the invasion,” he said eagerly, “people stole books from the temples, so they wouldn’t be destroyed. I buy them whenever I can and read them all.”
Audric the Lightbringer aka Rielle’s love interest aka the Crown Prince but it wasn’t always this way. Audric, Rielle, and Ludivine have been friends since they were children and have such a beautiful realtionship that at times gave me Polyamory vibes #jussayin Audric also happens to be a Sun Spinner and can wield the power of the sun with his sword Illuminor.
Ludivine aka Lu is BFF’s with Rielle & she also happens to be Audric’s cousin/betrothed…yea as we all know, the royal families loved to keep it all in the family. Lu comes from a noble family with a great army that would be beneficial for the Kingdom. I LOVE Lu! she’s everything a BFF should be 💜
Simon half angel/half human is shrouded in secrecy & adamant on making sure he has his eye on Eliana at all times. Simon has been through a lot & he didn’t ask for any of it! he is broken & I want nothing more than to see him get his happy ending 🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼
Corien I’m still unsure how I feel about this character, he’s pretty angry & manipulative. I can only assume we’ll get to know his intentions in the next book & I am hella curious! 👀
Navi aka the Princess of Astavar & genuinely one of those people who radiates goodness. Simon is on a mission to get Navi back to her kingdom which to date has remained free from the Emperor’s rule. Navi LOVES her people & they in turn love her! she embraces Eliana & treats her like a sister.
Zahra aka The Wraith!!!! 💜💜💜 I only know of one other wraith I LOVE to pieces & ever since Inej walked out of my life, there’s been this hole! 😭 Whelp, she’s not Inej but Zahra is just as awesome! she’s a protector through & through making sure the refugees that have escaped the clutches of the Emperor are safe. There were some theories on Zahra’s true identity in our buddy read & I’m stoked to see more of her!
Thoughts I have a plenty! In Furyborn we get two EPIC MC’s and their seperate yet forever linked stories. Fast paced with never a dull moment, it was easy to follow the 1,000 year jump between each chapter. The world is so well fleshed out that the stark differences in the land & it’s people is sobering when you’re in Eliana’s timeline. A ton has happened since Rielle’s rule & magic has been done away with by order of the Emperor. As I was reading, I found myself really enjoying Rielle’s chapters & that was probably my love of everything magical at work but I also got invested in the movement taking place in present time. These characters are heavily flawed & morally ambiguous with tons of growth along the way. We get our dose of hot & steamy sexual tension but perhaps what really got me handing out an applause was the discussion of contraceptives! we don’t get enough of this let alone in a Fantasy book 💜 Both MC’s are Bi-sexual, they express interest in the same sex & are attracted to other women. Neither of them is romantically paired off with the same sex & yet that doesn’t take away from their sexuality. I found myself really appreciating the subtle messages Legrand weaved into Furyborn. If you’re looking for a Feminist kick a** Fantasy with characters you won’t forget, this is one you’re not going to want to miss! 💜💜💜
*Quotes taken from ARC provided by the publisher may be subject to change by publication date
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