Book Review: Furyborn – Claire Legrand

Somewhere, across the world, someone is going “Can Ava Tusek please shut the hell up about Claire Legrand, all she ever does is scream about Claire Legrand”, and my answer to that person (probably my mom, at this point) is: Abso-hecking-lutely NOT. I will never shut up about Claire Legrand and how much I love her books. So without further ado, Furyborn.


furyborn

Name: Furyborn
Author: Claire Legrand

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: May 22, 2018

Synopsis

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.


Book Cover Comments

love this cover. It’s pretty simple, well-balanced, and the contrast between black, red, and gold works beautifully. It’s unique enough to be noticed, but not in your face, and its simplicity means there’ll be a clear theme for the other books. Gosh, I love it. Also, the sword and crown and fire is badass.


The Actual Review

I read Furyborn about a month after it released, and when I picked it up, it was within a big ol’ bookhaul. I grabbed it because of the cover lust, and because I was dying to find another author to stan.

LITTLE DID I KNOW.

The synopsis itself is already enough to grab you and keep pulling. Assassins, queens, angels, magical trials; it felt like this book was made for me (I am a Hoe for all of these things). It’s so rare to find a book that has your favorite ingredients and is also well-written and also has that special twist that makes it unique.

Y’all.

So Furyborn is told from the POVs (consistently third-person THANK THE LORD) of Eliana and Rielle; Eliana is a bounty-hunter badass and Rielle is a Super Powerful Sun-Queen-In-Training. But they live a thousand years apart. That’s where Claire Legrand hits you with a magical unique twist: I’ve never read a book that was quite so brave with its narration, and I really have to applaud Claire for being so clever. We were always given enough information that I never felt confused, but even though we were reading a POV of someone who supposedly knows the events of the other POV, there were still so many surprises and fun twists you aren’t expecting.

I saw people on Goodreads complaining about how the prologue “spoils everything” but I personally adore that prologue; as soon as I read it I knew I was going to be obsessed with these books. Also, kids, this is a ninth grade English lesson: this prologue is an example of utilizing dramatic irony which means Legrand has on the edge of our seats waiting to figure out how and when and why the protagonists are going to learn about the things that are revealed in the prologue.

The plot itself is tight, well-paced, and weaves in so many delicious secrets and twists and coils. It’s just incredible, and I wouldn’t change a thing; there was never a point when I found myself bored or tiring of one of the POVs. In fact (my poor book), I accidentally ripped out one of the pages because I tried to turn it too fast. Which definitely gave me the perfect excuse to buy two more copies #whoops.

The characters…they can all step on me. Every single one. Rielle’s moral ambiguity, her fiery personality, her ambition…all of it called to me, and made me love her more and more for every wicked decision she made. Eliana’s brutality, her secretly-soft heart, her reluctance, her ferocity, her relationship with her brother–it may or may not have had me questioning my sexuality. Just a little bit. Audric and Simon are our Boys for the series, and they couldn’t be more different, but they could both eat me if they wanted. Audric’s literally a golden retriever, and I want to scoop him into my arms and never let him go. I want to do the same thing with Simon, but he’d probably stab me and I’d probably be okay with it. Corien is the murder-child of this book and he can do whatever he wants to my corpse (too far? maybe too far? but would I put it past him? would I put anything past him? I dunno). All of these characters are so distinct and intriguing. Part of me was honestly frustrated by the strict two-POV limit, because I wanted to be inside all of their heads (but in actuality, it made everything nice and clean and I do love that).

As for craft: impeccable. The world building was so thorough (maps, a guide at the end of the book, journal entries/textbook excerpts/quotes at the beginning of each chapter to give us a complete layout of this incredible world), I never felt myself wanting for any information. I knew there was more to Furyborn‘s world (and I hope we explore it in Kingsbane!) but I definitely had all that I needed to give myself a complete view of what we were experiencing when we were experiencing. The magic system (called the empirium) was so fascinating and unique, and I adored the well-woven mythology regarding the angels and the saints. It was a fascinating blend of religion, and *ugh* I’m kind of at a loss for words. According to the acknowledgments, this book has been swirling around in Claire Legrand’s brain for fourteen years and it shows: everything is thought-out and complete and she just did such a spectacular job.

This book so quickly and completely became one of my all-time favorite reads, and I think I’ve read it three times now. I’m about to start my re-read because (spoiler alert Sourcebooks is sending me an ARC of Kingsbane, so stay tuned for a review of that one as well!)


Read. This. Book. Especially if you’re looking for the next Sarah J Maas or Leigh Bardugo, because Claire Legrand is so talented I am positive she is going to take YA Fantasy to the next level with this one.

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