Furyborn (Empirium, #1)
Furyborn 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, 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.
Author: Claire Legrand
Thank you, NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire, for providing me with an electronic advanced reading copy of this book! Someday I will learn my lesson about reading the first book of a series that isn't complete yet. I tore through Furyborn in just a few days and now have to wait until "sometime in 2019."
Sigh.Furyborn was a really great read. The universe is unique and intriguing, and the women are strong and pretty complex. I never felt like the story was dragging, and I definitely didn't want it to end.
The story starts with a prologue that is immediately gripping. It contrasts sharply with the characters' lives and relationships in the first few chapters, which left me hungry to understand how everything could have gone so...wrong. You get the feeling that the story is going to be complex and exciting.
The narrative switches back and forth between our two protagonists: Rielle and Eliana. In a world full of magic and free of the threat of the angels—who have been trapped safely behind a gate for nearly 1,000 years—Rielle is a young girl with power like the world has never seen. She must convince others (and herself) that she will use it for good and not evil. A century later, Eliana is a bounty hunter for the Empire (evil, of course) that rose from Rielle's ashes, trying to convince herself that she is a terrible person so that she can live with herself and the lives she's taken. Then her mother is taken, and a high-ranking soldier from the underground faction of rebels convinces her that he can help Eliana find her. At the center of their stories is a prophecy stating that the angels' gate will fall when two queens rise—the Sun Queen and the Bood Queen, one with the power to destroy the world, and one with the power to save it. But who is which? We're whipped back and forth between the two girls' perspectives like lightning speed as they fight their battles—one whose path careens closer to the fall of the world, and one who will (presumedly) save it.
I'm not always a fan of alternating narrators; I feel like it pulls me out of the story. A cliffhanger sort of loses its potency when you have to read another whole chapter before it picks up again, and it's easier to set the book down that way. That was not really the case with this book. I was equally hooked into both storylines. I'd be frustrated when it would switch, but after only a few words, I'd be pulled back into that other story, glad to have returned to it.
A few of the ancillary characters were kind of flat, but completely lovable. And I do think the book set them up to become more complex in the next installment. There were also some really great romantic moments—oof. Wow.
Again, I cannot. believe. I have to wait for the next one. Why, cruel world?