Author: Claire Legrand
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: May 22, 2018
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, discovering 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.
This novel was extremely riveting and truly a high-stakes, action-packed fantasy story, full of morally gray characters and a fascinating magical system. I loved the dual perspective between main protagonists Rielle and Eliana, especially because of the difference in the time periods. Eliana’s perspective occurs 1,000 years later, and I loved being able to see what happens to Rielle through Eliana’s eyes, but yet see the still innocent and caring Rielle in her own time. Both Rielle and Eliana had their flaws as characters, making them much more human and relatable. Eliana’s ferocity as a bounty hunter for the Undying Empire meant that she was comfortable with killing others, doing so out of the need to survive, and Rielle’s lies didn’t make her the ideal character either. I loved this and I believe that there should be more morally gray/less than perfect women and individuals in literature. However, what truly gripped me was the concept of the ‘empirium’ that constructs everything in the world of the book. Each of the seven elemental powers: sun, air, fire, shadow, water, metal, and earth, had their own ‘casting’ or tool to access these powers and were connected to the empirium: the fabric that makes up the world. The description and definition of the magical powers that characters like Rielle had, made the novel exciting and action-filled.
There wasn’t much that I hated about the book, but I did feel that Rielle’s romantic relationship with one of the other characters in the novel felt a little instantaneous and easy to predict. This book was also on the darker side with a lot of violence, death, gore, slavery, and torture. Readers should keep in mind that there is some sexual content in the book as well.
Furyborn is ultimately is a gripping and thrilling high fantasy novel about the power that our circumstances have to shape us. Despite its darker themes and unexpected romance, this novel would certainly appeal to older young adult readers who are fans of Claire Legrand’s other books, Sarah J. Maas’ books, and The Graceling Trilogy. I give this book a 9 out of 10.