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Review: Furyborn (Empirium #1) by Claire Legrand

Furyborn by Claire Legrand
pub 5/22/18 by Sourcebooks Fire
Young Adult - Fantasy
Received ARC at ApollyCon
I read my first Claire Legrand book! I’m glad I finally did and overall, I did like Furyborn but I think I may be in the minority because I didn’t fall head over heels in love with it.

The book alternates between two fierce women who are centuries apart from the one another. There’s Rielle Dardenne, who in a moment of fear for her best friend and crown prince, reveals her affinity for all seven kinds of elemental magic and thus puts herself at the crosshairs of the kingdom. No one can do what she does except for the two prophesied queens – one of light and one of blood and destruction. To prove she’s the Sun Queen she must undergo seven trials to prove her abilities and her loyalty. If she fails, she’ll be executed. Then there’s Eliana Ferracora, who is centuries in the future and became a bounty hunter when the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom. To her, Queen Rielle and that whole world is just a bedtime story while her reality is to keep her family safe. Then circumstances force her to join a mysterious rebel captain on a mission that reveals more than she ever expected about herself and the evil war that spans both her and Rielle’s lifetimes.

Whew! It’s a lot right? What impressed me most was how clever and imaginative the entire world was. I was intrigued immediately by Rielle and her journey. I loved her magic, the struggles she faced and her relationship with the prince. In comparison, it took me half the book to care about Eliana. In fact, at first I rushed through her chapters to get back to Rielle faster. But eventually Eliana’s trials and the personal demons she faced garnered my interest, although never as much Rielle’s. And that’s part of the reason why towards the last quarter of the book, I started to really feel the length of this novel. I mean, there’s no denying that it’s long but I do think it could’ve been edited down and that the constant switching between POVs contributed to the my feelings on the pacing.  And because I want to end this review on a pleasant note, I will say that at some points I was very surprised this book was labeled YA! Because the romance you guys? Steamy and swoonworthy and a much-needs respite from the darkness of the story.

Do I recommend? I do! It’s dark and imaginative and I want more of Rielle (and her prince).

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