Furyborn by Claire Legrand | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Furyborn by Claire Legrand | Book ReviewFuryborn by Claire Legrand
Series: Empirium #1
on May 22, 2018
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Epic, Girls & Women, Romance
Pages: 512
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

"Epic feminist fantasy."—Melissa Albert, New York Times bestselling author "Truly not to be missed..."—Kendare Blake, #1 New York Times bestselling author

The stunningly original, must-read fantasy of 2018 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.

Sometimes, I think I really dislike hype. I mean, yes, okay it pushes me to read a book WAY faster. Then, however, I have all these outsized expectations like with Furyborn by Claire Legrand. With the way that people were talking about it, I guess I was expecting the second coming. Although I did enjoy Furyborn a lot, I found myself slightly disappointed while reading it for essentially two reasons — pace and just being SO confused and lost.

The plot of the first book in the Empirium trilogy follows a dual storyline. In the past is Rielle who has control over all of the elements in her use of the empirium. Rielle is in love with the king’s son, Audric. Except he’s engaged to her best friend Ludivine. Meanwhile, Rielle has to undergo different trials with the elements to prove she’s the sun queen come to save everyone. Then, set in the future is the storyline of Eliana. Eliana is a bounty hunter for the Empire and will do whatever it takes to keep her family safe. Only, one day her mother, Rozen goes missing. Eliana then ends up journeying with her brother and this guy named Simon. Secrets are revealed.

So, I kind of get the sense that Rielle was supposed to be set up to eventually be a character we don’t like? Maybe I interpreted that all wrong. However, despite all her ridiculous mistakes including one where it is like HOW COULD YOU EVEN DO THAT — I still liked her. Out of the two storylines in Furyborn I found Rielle’s to be the most compelling. She has this tragic history with her mother. There’s some forbidden love. Hell, she even gets to be ostentatious in her costumes as she does the trials. I just thought she was so interesting. Although, there’s times where I found myself questioning why she didn’t just use Empirium magic to save the day at different points. Overall though, I would be glad to read more about her.

Eliana, the future storyline character, is kind of intriguing too. I guess we get this hint of who she actually is, but as a reader who is not a first timer, I figured it out immediately. I will say it drove me up the wall that it took SO LONG to get to that reveal. Like, we all already know who she is, why keep dragging it out. And then, I kept expecting her to be able to use empirium kind of like Rielle but she doesn’t. So, consequently I was a little disappointed. Like, this book is hyping two queens WHERE IS THE OTHER QUEEN. I also thought she was kind of a dick to Simon and all these other people who are just trying to help her or if not trying to help her, live their lives as refugees.

Okay so I guess where I found myself disappointed is that I expected to immediately gel with Furyborn by Claire Legrand and write love songs about it and join a fanclub after reading because it was supposed to be SOOO good. And, okay, yeah it is a decent read. But goodness, it is so freaking slow for anything to happen. There’s a race with assassins in the beginning which is exciting a little bit, but I just felt a little bored after that. Whenever it would start to get good, we would get a perspective shift. I just want to lean into the good parts, not get switched to another character.

I also didn’t 100% love this because I felt a little lost on the world building. For example, I wanted to know more about the magic. It did not entirely make a ton of sense to me. Plus the future timeline kept bothering me because I just wanted to know why everything was the way that it was and how it got to be so different. Yet, the reveals felt like they took forever.

Of course, I do plan to continue with this series and maybe am chalking a lot of this up to me as a reader. Right now I am so particular in what I read and have to be immediately and continually engaged. Maybe when I am less particular I will be ready for the next of Legrand’s new series.

Other reviews of Furyborn by Claire Legrand:

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. This book has SO many mixed reviews that I’m quite confused 😛 I love the premise but i definitely don’t want to feel confused and lost while reading it. I think I’m pushing it a little lower in my TBR pile. I might read it sometime 🙂 Great review!