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Furyborn (Empirium #1) by Claire Legrand
Publication: May 22nd, 2018
Genre: YA Fantasy
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.
Add on: Goodreads
I listened to this on Audible and I must say I loved this. I can see the issue of it being slow or long for some but I think hearing it made it more of a pleasure. Furyborn is a dual-point-of view. We have Rielle who can manipulate seven elements and Eliana who is a bounty hunter for the empire. This is a wild story of elemental magic, blood queens, sun queens, romance, angels, and named swords. Everything about this was wonderful but I have it 4 &1/5 stars because it was missing that extra oomph. I can’t say what was missing but it just needed something extra for it to be really great. The story of the two women is set 1000 years apart. From the prologue right away you will know who Eliana really is (I won’t say because of spoilers but if you read it then you know how easy it is to guess). The plot is exciting and enjoyable. I think my favorite point of view was Rielle because I LOVE magical game/magical test plot devices. The stakes for Rielle were really high. Eliana was good too but I found myself more excited when Simon was around or if Remy was talking. She just made a couple of decisions that annoyed me a lot. There were some things that were easy to guess but there was also stuff that I wasn’t expecting. Overall this was really enjoyable and I am ready for book 2 (Kingsbane.)
I listened to this so I will discuss both experiences. I want to first mention the sex scene because for a YA book this was really well done. I didn’t feel like it was cringy or exaggerated in weird descriptions. It was written pretty simply and it didn’t come at some weird spot. It fits into the plot nicely. The world-building was easy to follow and understand. I loved this kingdom and really how much it resembled medieval times (we had the weird court people who wanted cousins to get married lmao). Besides that incestuousness mess (btw THANK YOU LEGRAND FOR NOT MAKING THE INVOLVED CHARACTERS ACTUALLY WANT THAT) I really did love how authentic the world felt. I also loved how even with this being authentic the world felt unique to the story. I could picture it all vividly. The elemental magic and history of everything were explained well and made sense. The voice actor did a great job with this book. I think she definitely helped the story come alive for me. She had the emotion and enthusiasm needed to sell the story to me.
Rielle is THAT girl. I loved her. I loved her inner struggle to be good but with Corien in her mind and her own desires, she walks this thin line of being bad. I loved when we really got to see her power in full force because so many people underestimated her and really don’t seem to get she could destroy them if she wanted to. Personally, I loved Corien. I mean it’s not a surprise because I love the villainous people but when he called Rielle exquisite I died. He was so well written and I am ready for more of my man. Audric was interesting because I know he loves Rielle but you kind of wonder if he will truly love Rielle if he sees her full power. I loved him but I struggle with know if he will always be there for Rielle. Eliana was pretty dope but she made some decisions that irked me and made me roll my eyes. I hope to see her in a better light in book two but she wasn’t horrible. I did enjoy her as she gained more trust in this new crew. I adored her love for her brother. Which brings me to Remy. He was so adorable and I would love to get inside his little mind. Simon’s purpose in everything is so exciting. I love him. He is so funny and just amazing. I want to know more about him.
I have to highly disagree with the people saying this book was all about sex or that Rielle only cared about jumping Audric. 50% into the book and there was only ONE kiss. There was a self-pleasured scene with Rielle that was like two sentences (and no mention of Audric btw) and one sex scene towards the last quarter of the book…So as you can see I have no idea where people formed that WRONG opinion from. Eliana talked about sex but we actually never got anything romantic save for like a mention of it in the beginning and almost something with Simon at the end. The romance in this book was secondary to the plot and even the character development. The most developed romance was Rielle’s’ and it was barely there. We barely scraped whatever is going to happen between Eliana and Simon. So, if you love romance heavy this is not for you. If you love romance but don’t want it to completely overshadow the issues at hand (me) then this is for you. Audric and Rielle were incredibly sexy and the pining was a lovely touch because you see their issue many times in historical accounts dealing with kings and queens. Eliana and Simon’s banter was so funny and hot (I love couples who put knives to each other’s throat). I am excited to see where their relationship goes.
She was supposed to be the Sun Queen. Their savior and protector. And yet she had become the Blood Queen. The Kingsbane. The lady of death.
“Come to catch a peek of me naked did you?” She winced. But Simon only smiled. “Oh Eliana,” he murmured. His voice no longer playful. “I want so much more than simply a peek.”
“If I could give up my crown and my duty,” he said. “And leave this place behind with only you at my side,” he glanced at Rielle. The quite anguish in his face seized her heart. “I would do it in an instant. With Lou’s blessing” “Abandon your birthright? Leave your country without an heir?” Rielle scoffed. Tears standing hot in her eyes. “You’d never dare.” “You’re wrong,” he stormed away from them to face the starlight windows. His shoulders high. Intense. “I’d do it for you. Sometimes I think I’d betray everything I hold dear for you.”
Fear chasing pleasure. Pleasure chasing shame.
‘I do not bend or break,’ she prayed. ‘I cannot be silenced.’
I do not break or bend. I can not be silenced. I am everywhere.
“I don’t know how to both love you and be the person who sends you to war.”
“Every night since that day,” he whispered against her mouth, “I have dreamed of this. I wake with your name on my lips.”
“And if I asked you to take me to bed?” “Then I would take you there,” he said. “And not rest until you’d had your fill of me.”
“You are my queen and my life is yours. It has been since the day you were born.”
“Your life is mine,” she whispered. Sliding his hands down her face and throat coming to rest against her neckless. Through the thin fabric of her nightgown, his fingers burned her skin. “To do with as you will, Eliana,” he said softly. “Then, now, and always.”