Release-Day Review: Furyborn by Claire Legrand (Empirium #1)


Furyborn by Claire Legrand // VBC ReviewFuryborn (Empirium #1)
Claire Legrand
Published: May 22, 2018 (Sourcebooks Fire)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

Two Queens will rise. One of blood. One of light.

Generations ago in a war between humans and Angels, the angels were defeated and locked behind a gate. Do to their influence being taken from the world, magic slowly started seeping out of it.

When the crown Prince Audric is attacked by assassins and Rielle Dardenne saves him, she does so using all the elemental powers as prophesized. To discover the true depth of her power, Rielle will undergo a series of tests, but as she pushes herself to the limit, she begins to understand that things are waking up within herself as well as in the world again, things that maybe should have stayed locked away forever.

Centuries later, as Rielle’s name is but a whisper on the wind, Eliana Ferracora is an assassin known as The Dread of Orlins, word is she’s invincible. She kills those opposed to the Empire in order to keep her family safe, but at the cost of losing a bit of herself with each death. When her mother is taken in the night, Eliana will align herself with those she’s been tasked to kill to get her mother back and she’ll begin to see the rot that surrounds the Kingdom. When an opportunity arises for Eliana to fight on the side of good, she’ll have to face some hard truths about herself.

Furyborn alternates perspectives between Rielle and Eliana. Rielle’s is mainly filling in the blanks that lead to and shaped the world Eliana lives in. While we weave our way through the story, I didn’t think it was about the “big reveals” or the twists and turns so much as it’s about seeing these two timelines and these two women who are each almost in the same situation(s) and they impact they have. It’s actually pretty easy to see where the storyline is going (barring a couple of surprises mind you), but I enjoyed seeing how we would get there.

Both Rielle and Eliana’s alternating stories somewhat mirror one another. I like the nuances of each woman facing the same type of challenges in separate timelines and seeing the choices each made. If I’d had time to read this book twice before reviewing, I would have so I could really pinpoint the variances.

One complaint is that a lot of the forward motion of Eliana’s portion of the story felt very jerky and spur of the moment. It lacked a certain flow at times. I think it’s because there’s so much being packed into this story that it kept the bad guys from feeling as wicked as they’re supposed to be and the relationships as deep as their supposed to be. That goes on both Eliana and Rielle’s side of things actually. I found it rather difficult to like either Rielle or Eliana as they both have some huge flaws and oftentimes make some terrible decisions. The feeling that these women are so revered by the end of the book kinda grated on my nerves a bit. But they try to be good, even sometimes begrudgingly.

I liked the way Claire Legrand posits about the ability of power to corrupt and that even the good sides of things have their darkness.

It’s an interesting world started in Furyborn. By the end many of the connections between the past and the present are made. I’m interested to see how Claire Legrand fills in the rest of the blanks and how those continue to build into the next book.

Sexual content: sex

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