Furyborn, Book 1 of the new Empirium Trilogy from the bestselling author Claire Legrand, is a stunningly original, must-read fantasy that 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, 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.
Furyborn (Empirium, #1)Featured
fascinating start to a new series
FURYBORN is a YA fantasy that does not disappoint! We begin by seeing the world through the eyes of a child, Simon, where he sees his father taking care of the evil queen who has just given birth. She uses the last of her energy to fight the angel Corien and send her newly born daughter away with Simon. Simon and his father are marques, and while he tries to follow the threads to where he wants to go while holding onto the infant, he loses her in his travels. The rest of the book is told in alternating points-of-view between Rielle (the queen who gave birth before she became such) and Eliana, an assassin for the corrupt empire approximately 1000 years later.
The reader bounces back and forth between the two in each chapter, which can sometimes be disorienting- like reading two books at the same time (especially when the chapter has a cliffhanger). We follow Rielle as she endures magical trials meant to test her restraint and abilities- and to find out whether she was the foretold Sun Queen who could save the world (the prophecy: "The angels will return and bring ruin to the world. You will know this time by the rise of two human Queens- one of blood, and one of light. One with the power to save the world. One with the power to destroy it. Two Queens will ride. They will carry the power of the Seven. They will carry your fate in their hands."). We follow Eliana as she journeys to save her mother who was taken by unknown forces and her brother, who she wishes to get out of the Empire's reach.
In this world, angels are often powerful but cruel beings who are at war with humans (although some are good). People have the powers of the elements that they can conjure (one power per person typically, e.g. power over water), and the abilities vary with the amount of power they have. Rielle has a power over all the elements (the seven possible abilities) and she has so much that she is barely able to control it. In Eliana's time, these powers are a thing of the past and seen as myths of the past.
Overall, it was a really fascinating book, and I definitely want to continue with the series- as soon as possible! I do wish we had spent more time with one of the two women, as I felt that it was a little difficult to get truly entrenched in their lives/loves. However, I still really enjoyed it overall!