I'm in Rochester today celebrating my boyfriend's birthday! We are getting so old, ugh. But no matter what age I am, I can appreciate a good YA Fantasy, which is exactly what Furyborn, by Claire Legrand, is. It is the first in a trilogy and left me wanting more immediately- always promising!
Note: I received an advanced reader's copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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.
Furyborn follows the paths of two young women born with extraordinary powers, years apart. We alternate between their narratives and experience their lives in vastly different worlds and circumstances. Rielle and Eliana are foils for each other and represent what a woman is willing to do to survive and protect the people they love.
In Rielle's timeline, we see a young woman who has an untested power inside of her. She is equally afraid of her power hurting those she loves, and also hungry to show the world what she is capable of. To earn the mantle of the Sun Queen and the trust of her liege, she must undergo several trials, proving her mastery over the elements and the sacrifices she is willing to serve her kingdom. These trials are fast-paced and incredibly descriptive. In my mind's eye, I borrowed scenes from Avatar: The Last Airbender to visualize Rielle's manipulation of elements. She creates fissures in the ground, extinguishes flames, and parts oceans. These feats don't require a ton of mental math to visualize, but it definitely helped me to have something to reference.
Rielle is full of hope- hope that she will acknowledged and loved for who she is and can finally live in her own skin. If she is the Sun Queen, people will finally love her. People like Prince Audric. *swoon*
In Eliana's timeline, we follow a girl who lives in a much bleaker, darker world. She is a gifted fighter with a mysterious past. When her mother is snatched from her home in the middle of the night, Eliana finds help in unexpected places, a network of rebels who await the prophesied Sun Queen of legend. We know now, in the years after the world was torn asunder, that Queen Rielle was the Blood Queen and that she betrayed Prince Audric. Well, we know as much as Eliana knows from the stories that were passed down. Perhaps the events that actually transpired in the past were convoluted over time- we won't know for sure until we're further in the series. Alternating between the past and present keeps the reader guessing, trying to put these pieces together and make sense of what went wrong. How could a woman, who simply wanted to prove herself and protect her friends, become the Blood Queen?
The alternating perspectives is a compelling storytelling method and kept me on the edge of my seat. While Furyborn contains its fair share of fantasy cliches, I was totally okay with it. The story never drags so much that I'm wondering "where have I seen this before?" That's saying a lot, for a book of 512 pages. This was an incredibly satisfying fantasy read with *swoonworthy* scenes and I cannot wait for the next installment!
I rate Furyborn 5/5 stars!
Furyborn releases May 22nd, 2018. Trust me, you do not want to miss out on this start to an epic fantasy series. Pre-order the book now! Check out the beautiful official cover to Furyborn below!