Furyborn by Claire Legrand was one of those random books I picked from the library, based solely on its cover (and what a cover it is).
I wasn’t disappointed.
Lovers of YA and Sarah J. Maas’s writing style will probably adore this book. It’s action-packed features female characters who take no prisoners, and a delicious romantic plot that doesn’t disappoint.
***This review contains spoilers.***
The stunningly original, must-read fantasy of 2018 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, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven elemental magic trials. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.
One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire’s heart 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.
Except for the first chapter, we’re either in Rielle or Eliana’s viewpoint, alternating each new chapter. Their timelines take place 1000 years apart, with Rielle’s moving towards the events in the first chapter.
The first chapter follows the trend of beginning the book from a non-viewpoint character, in this case, one of the secondary cast, Simon. This chapter is meant to set the scene and introduce us into the world, but I always feel a little ripped off when the first chapter isn’t delivered from a viewpoint character. It’s is a personal quirk, so you might not agree, but this is an honest review and I thought I’d mention it.
The first chapter especially annoyed me because of the way the timeline works. We know exactly where Rielle’s story is headed, and I wish we got to find out in the conventional way. I don’t believe Simon’s chapter adds anything to the story that we couldn’t have figured out throughout the rest of the plot, but again, that may just be me.
And maybe I feel so strongly about this because I so loved reading from either Rielle or Eliana’s viewpoints.
Both these characters are marvellously flawed, and make deliciously grey judgement calls. I loved that both have questionable motivation at times, and both have blood on their hands.
The magical element interested me, and there’s a slight variation on the chosen one trope in that we know we have two chosen ones from the beginning. The fact that even Rielle doesn’t know for sure which of the foretold queens she is was juicy.
Rielle is already in love with Audric (and vice versa) when the book begins, but Audric is engaged to his cousin, Ludivine. The three grew up together and are super close, but Ludivine and Audric don’t have any feelings for each other.
The twists awaiting these three was super fun to read.
Eliana is a mixture of Claire from Heroes and She-Ra, IMO. Her body heals itself fast, so she’s difficult to kill, and she works for the antagonist at the book’s start.
While Rielle has darkness within and tries to hide it above all, Eliana follows a dark path openly and struggles with her humanity instead. Other than that, Rielle and Eliana are pretty similar. Without knowing from Simon’s first chapter that Eliana is Rielle’s long lost daughter, I believe you could easily figure that out as the story progresses. Like mother like daughter.
Now, while the majority of the female characters all seem to kick arse, the guys are all cinnamon rolls, except for Simon. The guys seem to play the part of moral compass to the girls, which is all fine and dandy, but it says a lot about the girls who each need two moral compasses.
Still, I really enjoyed this book, and can’t wait to read the sequel. For me, this was a 7/10.