ARC Review: Furyborn by Claire Legrand
Author: Claire Legrand
Series: Empirium: #1
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Page number: 516 pages
When assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven elemental magic trials. If she fails, she will be executed...unless the trials kill her first.
One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable—until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire's heart 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.
I received a free copy for an honest review. Furyborn is a story following two girls: Eliana, the assassin, and Rielle, the general's daughter (who is very close to the royal family, especially the crown prince, Audric). The two narratives take place hundreds of years apart, with the author taking us back and forth between the narratives every other chapter. Through this, we kind of view the story in a third-omniscient POV because we already know how the history played out (going back and forth between time) as we watch first-hand how the world evolved, and how it would continue to change through our two main protagonists. That actually wasn't...that bad. It wasn't that bad at all. In fact, it was actually pretty good. I wasn't expecting a masterpiece, but I was kind of nervous to see how this book was going to be like with an average Goodreads review of below 4 stars. I know I came into this book with a low expectation, but after reading this book the first thing I realized was that this book deserved at least 4 stars. The idea of having two perspectives that take place centuries apart is really creative, and it's cool from the reader's perspective to see history happening live, while we go back and forth in time to see how it happened, already knowing what is going to happen. The story was very constructed, clear, and understandable for a plot that is literally jumping back and forth between centuries every other chapter. I'm also really impressed (and surprised) by how much I equally enjoy both narratives. I always say that one of the biggest risks of writing a multiple POV book (especially when the characters don't even know the other's existence) is that it can result in the reader playing favorites. This would lead to an overwhelming number of cases where one of the narratives (or multiple ones) are just basically skimmed through by the reader until the reader is reading their preferred or favorite one. But I found myself equally invested in both story-lines, their development, as well as being equally fond of both heroine’s love interests. That is something I truly believe deserve to be praised, especially when the two stories and heroines are so separated and so different. I enjoyed this book much more than I originally anticipated, but I'm only giving it four stars because I was still able to put it down if the need arises. In other words, this book didn't really do that well on the put-down-ness scale. I noticed this because whenever I was reading this book continuously, something happens, I put it down, and I found out that I was able to pause it for quite a while. This is why I'm not giving this book five stars: it did not reach the five-star level for me, where I physically cannot put the book down for too long. Also, in case anyone is wondering, regarding the twist, although I saw the twists regarding Eliana's true identity a mile away, it did not take anything from the story for me. Nevertheless, this book is a good book. Not fantastic, not quite excellent yet, but definitely very good. I would recommend it to readers who like:
best friend romance (especially when the best friend is the crown prince)
enemies turned lovers relationship
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Claire Legrand used to be a musician until she realized she couldn't stop thinking about the stories in her head. A native Texan, she is now a writer and librarian living in central New Jersey. Her first novel is THE CAVENDISH HOME FOR BOYS AND GIRLS, one of the New York Public Library's 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing in 2012. She is also the author of THE YEAR OF SHADOWS, a ghost story for middle grade readers, WINTERSPELL, a young adult re-telling of The Nutcracker, and SOME KIND OF HAPPINESS, a middle grade story about mental illness, family secrets, and the power of storytelling. SOME KIND OF HAPPINESS is a 2017 Edgar Award nominee and one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2016. Her latest novel, FOXHEART, is a fast-paced fantasy-adventure and a 2016 Junior Library Guild selection. She is also one of the four authors behind THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES, an anthology of dark middle grade short fiction that was a Junior Library Guild selection, a Bank Street Best Book, and among the New York Public Library's 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing in 2014. Coming up for Claire is FURYBORN, the first book in the Empirium trilogy, due out May 22, 2018, followed by SAWKILL GIRLS in fall 2018, and THORNLIGHT, a companion novel to FOXHEART, coming in winter 2019. Visit Claire at claire-legrand.com and at enterthecabinet.com.