Author: Claire Legrand
Series: Empirium #1
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Published: May 22nd, 2018 (Sourcebooks Fire)
Synopsis: 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.
“The gate will fall. The angels will return and bring ruin to the world. You will know this time by the rise of two human Queens – one of blood, and one of light. One with the power to save the world. One with the power to destroy it. Two Queens will rise. They will carry the power of the Seven. They will carry your fate in their hand. Two Queens will rise.”
In the lands of Avitas, there are those who possess the ability to control the elements. When assassins target her best friend, Prince Audric, Rielle Dardenne, in an effort to save him, exposes the secret she has kept for many years – she can wield not just one element, but all of them. As per an ancient prophecy given by the angel Aryava, two such queens will rise, the Sun Queen to save everyone, and a Blood Queen to destroy them. Rielle must now undergo seven trials to prove not only her control over her powers, but also her loyalty to her country, Celdaria. A thousand years later, the world has changed. The stories of Rielle and Audric are but legends and magic has vanished in a land ruled by a cruel Emperor. Bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora is one of the best at what she does, known as the Dread of Orline. But when her mother vanishes, she allies with a rebel captain who promises to find her – if Eliana will help him.
So I finally managed to finish this book and what an amazing ride it was! It has been quite some time since I read a story like this, learning the events while knowing the end – and while in my opinion, it usually doesn’t work that well, in this case it did. Right from the start, we know that Rielle and Audric’s story is going to end in tragedy, and still as I read, I was rooting for them – more for Audric’s sake than Rielle’s to be honest. At this stage, I found neither heroine to be particularly exceptional and most things I liked about the story came from the setting and plot. The world-building in particular, was excellent, bringing to life a story where angels aren’t remotely angelic and two young girls, a thousand years apart, hold the fate of the world in their hands. While the pacing was definitely off here and there, prologue aside, once the plot picked up, it gets intense really quickly. Rielle and Eliana’s POVs, surprisingly enough, worked really well. The two timelines are different enough that it’s impossible to confuse them. Instead each chapter and each POV provides another piece of the puzzle – one that remains largely incomplete as of the end of Furyborn – and I had a lot of fun putting the pieces together.
This is possibly the most interesting villain origin story I’ve read, more so because Rielle is trying so hard to be what is expected of her, to prove herself as the Sun Queen. I’m very curious to see exactly how her path changes due to Corien’s influence and the chain of events that lead to the scene in the prologue (which was a marvellous way to start the story by the way). And speaking of villains, Corien was such a good one! Eliana on the other hand, is a bit of an anti-hero right from the beginning, but all said and done, one with a good heart. When she eventually learns that she is in fact Rielle’s daughter, her greatest fear is that she is destined to become like her. The contrasts between Rielle who we know eventually turns into the villain and Eliana, who is quite the opposite, how different their journeys are turning out to be, was particularly intriguing to observe with each chapter.
It has been a very long time since I got that grand fantasy feel from a book right from page one (think Throne of Glass), and Furyborn has so much potential! Magic, action, marvellous villains, betrayals and forbidden romance – this has it all! I’m tempted to rate this book higher, but I have a really good feeling about Kingsbane so far, so I’ll save it for the sequels. I’m incredibly excited to see where Rielle and Eliana’s stories go next. Highly recommended for fantasy lovers!
I’m currently reading Kingsbane and can hardly put it down! I’d love to hear your thoughts on this series!
Other reviews in this series: