By Claire Legrand
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. (Goodreads Summary)
Disclaimer: The publisher provided me with ARC of Furyborn through Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
I was so sad to see that I had missed receiving an arc of Furyborn in the November ‘Ladies that Slay’ Fairyloot box, but then I was granted an ARC off of Netgalley and all of my sadness was forgotten because I finally had the book in my hands! I didn’t read too much about it before starting because I wanted to be surprised, and I think I have discovered one of my new favorite fantasy novels of all time!
Legrand does a fantastic job of weaving two stories together in Furyborn–Rielle’s story and Eliana’s story. Though the two take place in different time periods, they are connected in multiple ways which are revealed as the story goes on. Each chapter switches back and forth from Rielle to Eliana, which some people might find annoying, but I was so invested in both story lines that I didn’t mind it at all. It seemed to me, even though the book is over 500 pages, that it is very fast paces and almost every chapter ends on a cliffhanger that leaves you wanting more. There were multiple times throughout Furyborn that I found myself completely caught up in the story, completely oblivious to the outside world. I managed to finish it in one sitting during an 11 hour plane ride, and I could barely notice the crying baby just three rows ahead of me. I thought that the plot itself was brilliant. Rielle is a lady who has grown up in court hiding her powers over pretty much every element from everyone else, until her best friend, the prince, is in danger. After revealing her power, the people are frightened, and she has to prove to them that she is the good queen, the Sun Queen, who has come to help the world. She’s put through a series of trials to prove herself, and in the midst of the difficult physical challenges, she’s going through several things in her personal life–like how to deal with this voice which has appeared in her head and her feelings for the crown prince who just happens to be engaged to one of her other best friends. That’s pretty much all I can say about Rielle’s story without spoiling it. Now, Eliana’s story reminded me somewhat of Celaena/Aelin from the Throne of Glass series. She’s a bounty hunter working for the government, but after her mom gets captured by a mysterious group who’s been kidnapping women and a group of deadly assassins try to recruit her–her life gets turned upside down. Oh, and she also has these powers she can’t explain. I really can’t say too much about her story because then I really would be spoiling it, but I think I liked her story slightly more than Rielle’s because I found it less cliche.
Aside from her wonderful storytelling abilities, Legrand also possesses the ability to create an abundance of characters you just can’t help but care for. The two main characters, Rielle and Eliana, are both bad ass women. There’s a constant juxtaposition between the two, and by switching perspectives each chapter, the reader gets to see how they both react to somewhat similar situations. Rielle has been forced to hide her powers her entire life in fear of what might happen to her if someone was to find out, while Eliana is the famed ‘Dread of Orline,’ a famed assassin who’s just trying to survive and keep her loved ones safe. I found myself enjoying both characters for several different reasons, and I enjoyed both of their characters immensely. Aside from the main characters, Legrand includes a plethora of side characters people are sure to love. My personal favorite is Simon, also known as The Wolf, because he is the perfect companion for Eliana, and, I’m not going to lie, they are one of my new favorite ships. In Rielle’s story, she has two best friends, Ludavine and Audric. I adored Ludavine because I could see a lot of my best friend in her, and Audric was so sweet and truly cared for Rielle. Now, let’s talk about the big, bad Corien. I loved him. I thought the way Legrand introduced him as a voice inside Rielle’s head was wonderful, and he definitely gave me some Darkling vibes which was just the cherry on top. I can’t go into too much detail on the characters in fear of spoiling something for y’all, but just know that each and every one of them is fantastic in their own way.
In conclusion, I give Furyborn by Claire Legrand five out of five stars for being a refreshing, new fantasy novel everyone is sure to love. I already can’t wait to read the second novel, and the first isn’t even out yet! I highly recommend it to anyone who is a fantasy lover, as well as anyone who is looking to get into fantasy. I can’t wait for everyone to read it–I’m bursting at the seams to discuss it with someone!