Furyborn (Empirium, #1) by Claire Legrand
To be published May 22, 2018, by Sourcebooks Fire.
YA > Fantasy
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, 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.
Special thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an advance copy of the book for review!
Initial thoughts: I haven’t loved a fantasy book as much as I’ve loved Furyborn in a while!! AH, so many FEELS, and so much EPIC-NESS!! Rielle and Eliana are INCREDIBLE characters, and the intricacy of this world and story is so extremely thought-out and PERFECT. The small elements of foreshadowing are detailed and I want to reread this again already!
Guysssssssss I READ FURYBORN! I’d been eyeing it from the moment I read that synopsis and got lots of ARC envy (don’t hate me, you know you feel it too) when I saw bloggers getting copies of this one in the mail. During one of my visits to NetGalley I pushed that little wishbone not really thinking that it would ever be granted…and then…one day weeks later I got an email AND I GOT APPROVED!!! It was the best surprise. I was so excited about it that I got the release date mixed up (I thought it was coming out in March, but really it’s not ’till May), and so I read it over my Christmas break in December.
- The opening scene is intense and way confusing but stick with it, because everything becomes clear fairly quickly, and it’s CRAZY. That one scene was enough to drive me to keep reading and reading wanting to know why it happened.
- Yes, there are time jumps. Rielle and Eliana live during two different time periods in the same world. Through Eliana’s timeline, we’re able to see the result of Rielle’s story. But of course, we HAVE to know why and how Rielle’s story panned out.
- Both Rielle and Eliana are extremely fierce and strong characters. I also loved that the age of the characters is a little older than the typical YA. Both characters are around 19/20 throughout the course of their stories, so themes are more mature and dark, which I enjoyed and appreciated as an older YA reader myself.
- This leads me to talk about the romance. Woo, did it just get hot in here? I can’t describe these relationships as anything but sexy! There’s also hints of bisexuality, talk of contraceptives, and other important, but less-talked-about topics in YA.
- The magic is freaking AWESOME! And the action scenes are BADASS! Claire Legrand is incredibly detailed in writing both, particularly the magical aspects. I could fully visualize what was happening, and I’ll say it again: it was CRAZY!
- This is a looooooong book. Goodreads says the hardcover will be a whopping 512 pages. It did take me longer than usual to get through, but not because I wasn’t invested in the story. There’s just a LOT going on, and a lot to tell. And every page was worth it, might I add.
- I’m writing this almost a week after finishing this book and I still can’t form too many real thoughts about it to share with you?! That’s how much I love it.
- The world, the writing, the manipulation of time and pacing, and of course the characters (not just Rielle and Eliana — the “side” characters are just as round, interesting, and integral to the story), made it impossible for me not to love this book!
I’m still kind of melting in a puddle of Furyborn right now.
Fans of Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy will love this book.
If you’re on the fence about picking this one up I’ll leave you with this: MAGIC. ROMANCE. QUEENS. INTERCONNECTED TIMELINES. MORE MAGIC. BADASSERY.