Where. Do. I. Even. Start?
Claire Legrand is the author of NINE novels, including Furyborn. She tried to be a musician until she could no longer ignore the stories in her head. Now, she works as a librarian while she writes.
Alright, so Furyborn follows Rielle Dardenne and Eliana Ferracora, two connected women split by a thousand years. When Rielle’s best friend and prince is attacked by assassins, she reveals that she has command of every element. Most people can only command one, and they need a casting (an object to focus their magic through). The king must decide what to do with her because an old prophecy hangs over their heads. She could be their savior or their destroyer.
Fast forward a thousand years. Eliana Ferracora is the Dread of Orline. She’s an infamous assassin employed by the powers that be in her city. It’s kill for them or die and Eliana has enough self preservation to know which she should choose. Yet, when she confronts a group kidnapping women she is pulled into a rebel resistance. In order to save her mother, she has to spur her leaders and help the resistance. Yet, not all is as it seems for Eliana.
One is the Sun Queen, sent to save them from the angels that hide behind the gate erected thousands of years ago. The other is the Blood Queen, a force that will bring the gate down. The question is, which is which?
Furyborn had me riveted. Legrand did an excellent job of alternating point of view between Rielle and Eliana so that you were always left hooked. As soon as a chapter ended, I would cry with dismay only to remember where the last one had left off. It made the book un-putdownable.
What I really loved was the power these two female characters held. Rielle struggles with the desire for recognition. Her entire life has been spent keeping her secret hidden. She has had to struggle to maintain control over her powers, inciting fear in her own father and worry in her Queen. Once her secret is revealed, Rielle rides the fine line between ambition and self-preservation. On the other hand, we have Eliana. The similarities are pretty close. Eliana has a secret of her own. In her time, there is no more magic. So, Eliana must hide her body’s self healing power from those who might use her. She is good at her job, but must protect her secret at all times.
The book deals with what happens when women reach for power, and I am so here for it. I also shows youthful sexuality and the confusion that can come with it. Rielle is even shown in a short masturbation scene, which I find kind of empowering. It is elegantly written to empower Rielle while revealing a bit about the confusion in her life.
All in all, I’m really pleased with Furyborn. Definitely read it as the author has written it, with the alternating POV. This structure maintains a heightened tension that propels you through the story (until you realize it’s 2am and you should really go to bed, but one more chapter won’t hurt…) Reading the POVs separated might lessen the effect of the structure and diminish the overall impact of the book. I feel as though the chapters are reflective of one another. As one woman goes through something, the other encounters something similar. The differences and similarities will have you guessing what might happen at the end.
And, the twists are to die for. I promise.
The only complaint I might have has more to do with the prose than the story itself. There are moments where the scenes bleed into one another and I’m left wanting a better transition. Legrand has written novels before, but I’m not sure if she’s tackled one of this magnitude or structure before. The more I read, the more those hiccups seemed to fade and the writing smoothed itself out.
I cannot wait for the rest of the Empirium Trilogy.
Furyborn will be released MAY 22ND, 2018. Preorder it at your local bookseller or through Barnes and Noble. You can follow Claire Legrand on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and on her site. If you’re interested in Furyborn and the Empirium Trilogy, make sure to sign up for her newsletter. It’s the best way to stay on top of Legrand’s news.
If you want another review for Furyborn, check out Pepi’s thoughts. She tried reading it a bit differently, splitting the POVs and reading one then the other.
Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. The fact that I loved it is completely irrelevant!