Furyborn

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 22 May 2018

Member Reviews

4.5 Stars.

I received this eProof for free from Sourcebooks Fire via NetGalley for the purposes of providing an honest review.

Trigger Warning: This book features kipnap, attempted murder, and experimentation on people.

Being the huge fantasy fan that I am, when I first heard of Furyborn by Claire Legrand, it sounded right up my street. Then, after reading Legrand's Sawkill Girls, which was bloody incredible, I was even more excited to read Furyborn. Though I put it off a while after reading a few negative reviews. I should have ignored them, though, because Furyborn is brilliant!

Rielle is the daughter of the King's Lord Commander, and as such, has grown up being friends with Prince Audric and Lady Ludivine, Audric's cousin. But she hides a secrets; in a world where people have the magic to control one of the elements - wind, water, fire, sun, earth, metal, and shadows - when holding their cast, Rielle can control all seven, with no cast. And accidentally killed her mother in a fire when she was five-years-old. Since, her father has sworn her to secrecy, forcing her into an education to control and push down her power for the safety of others. But when Audric is attacked by assassins during a horse race, she does all she can to try and save him, letting her magic loose - and almost killing everyone in the city at the same time. It's only the fact that there is a prophecy that there will be two queens who can control all the elements, the Blood Queen who will destroy, and the Sun Queen, who will save, that keeps her from execution. To prove she is the Sun Queen, she must make it through seven elemental trials, to prove she can control her powers, each one more dangerous than the last.

A thousand years later, Eliana is the Dread of Orline, a masked bounty hunter who brings in or kills those she is ordered to by the Undying Empire - namely, rebels and those trying to escape the Empire's harsh rule. She's good at it, something she takes pride in, but she tries not to think about it too much; if she cared, she couldn't do it, and this is the only way she and her family can survive. But when her mother goes missing, like many other women and girls have. A rebel captain, Wolf, demands her help, but she only agrees in exchange for his help in finding her mother, and getting her, her mother, and her brother Remy to safety in the free country of Astavar. But while helping Wolf, she discovers what she thought she knew about the Empire's tyranny is nothing compared to the lengths the Emperor will go - and she might be the only one who can stop him.

Mate, Furborn was incredible! I did wonder if I would be captivated by two stories set a thousand years apart, but oh my god, I was! The story is told in alternating chapters from Rielle and Eliana's points of view. Each chapter is fairly short, and almost all end on their own cliff hanger, and so I was always desperate to read more. There was only short while for a few chapters towards the beginning where I was more interested in Eliana's story than Rielle's, but Rielle's soon picked up, and I needed to know what was going to happen to both of them!

The changes that have happened over the span of a thousand years leaves Eliana's world almost unrecognisable as Rielle's world. There are no more Kings and Queens, no more magic - just the Emperor and his tyrannical rule. They're also set on different continents, so they could have been completely different stories. Everyone knows of the legendary Queen Rielle in Eliana's time, but the world is so different, she seems no more than a legend. But the prophecy is of two queens, and who is which? I have to say, I wish we didn't have the prologue. The prologue is one big huge spoiler. It tells us how one character's story ends - and therefore, who they are - and massively hints about the story of the other, to the point where I was 99% sure about something major, that really, I would have preferred to have discovered over the course of the story as a whole. But even though I knew a hell of a lot more than I wanted to, I was still completely captivated by the story, desperate to know what led to that ending for one girl, and what this would mean for the other.

I loved both Rielle and Eliana. They are both hugely flawed characters, and in a lot of ways, they're not good people. Rielle makes choices and keeps secrets that had me shouting at her not to. Eliana has killed innocents, and led children to their death, for an Emperor who wants to rule all. But they're both human. Rielle has kept the secret of her powers ever since she was five, and been pretty much hated by her father ever since. Now she is not only allowed to use her powers freely, to their full extent, she enjoys it. Despite the fact that people are scared of her and what she could do. She's desperate to prove that she can control her power, that she won't hurt anyone, that she is their Sun Queen and will keep them safe - to have them love her, when there's been such a lack of love from her father. Even though she could die in the trials. Even though she could hurt people if she makes one mistake. And this is her motivation behind some of the choices she makes. And the secrets she keeps... well, I can't really comment without spoiling it, but mate, I wanted to shake her! And while I wasn't so interested in the trials themselves (there are so many fantasy novels with trials in, I'm kind of past this trope now), I was completely invested in what those trials led to in her story. She's not just taking part in trials, there's so much else going on.

Eliana is a badass. She has been taught from a young age how to be a bounty hunter by her mother, and her mother taught her well. She's not known as the Dread of Orline for nothing. She is deadly with her knives, and no-one can best her. Under the Emperor's rule, this she must do to keep her family safe. Any feelings she has about what she does - about the people she captures and sends to those who work for the Emperor, knowing their fate - she pushes down, like her mother taught. If she feels, she can't do her job. If she can't do her job, she can't keep her family safe. She's made herself hard and cocky, to protect her mind and her heart from what she has to do. But when her mother disappears, all bets are off. When her latest mark, Wolf, a rebel captain she has been commanded to capture, tells her he can help her find her mother in exchange for her help, it's not something she can refuse. And with the added promise of getting her family safely to Astavar, where they will be out of the Emperor's reach, Eliana joins the rebels. But she cares neither for the rebels nor the Empire, only her family, and she will do what she thinks right for the sake of them, only.

The relationships in this book! Eliana's relationship with her younger brother, Remy, is just so gorgeous. He's ten-years-old, and he's adorable. And it's so surprising that he has such strong morals, given what his sister does. It is very clear to him what is right and what is wrong, and he hates Eliana's job, and wants her to stop, but she can't. He's a little bit of a dreamer, in that he has hope and believes things can get better, where Eliana is more of the opinion that they should make the best of the crap their in, and keep them safe. But he's so smart, too! And Eliana would die for him.

The relationship between Rielle, Audric and Ludivine was also beautiful. They are such good friends, especially Audric and Ludivine, who stick by Rielle's side no matter what - which I sometimes had difficulty with considering Rielle's secrets. But they are so fiercely loyal and stand up for her and support her whenever they can. God, I loved them! There's only the complication that Rielle is in love with Audric, where Audric and Ludivine are betrothed, arranged by parents. This is hard for Rielle, which again, is the reason for some of her idiocy, but I really felt for her. And as a group, the three are just wonderful! I loved them!

This book is also hugely diverse! There's no mention of races, but everyone's skin colour is mentioned - no white default! King Bastien has dark skin, Queen Genoveve has pale skin, so Audric is darker than his mother, but lighter than his father. Harkan, Eliana's best friend and lover, has dark skin, and Navi, a princess of Astavar who was spying on the Empire, that Eliana and the Wolf rescue, has brown skin. Rielle has pale skin, as does Eliana and Wolf. There's also no mention of sexuality, but Eliana has had female and male lovers, and Rille mentions having sexy dreams of men and women.

The ending of Furyborn is just incredible, because you realise, despite everything that has happened over the course of the book - and it's a lot - it's only now that the story is really beginning, for both Rielle and Eliana. We haven't yet reached the end we saw for one of the characters at the beginning. There's so much more ahead for both of them, and I absolutely cannot wait! Furyborn was so exciting and completely gripping, and has definitely reaffirmed to me that Legrand is an author to watch. I cannot wait for the sequel, Kingsbane!

Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire via NetGalley for the eProof.
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I started reading this to my wife. We both like it at first, then grew bored as it devolved into a lesbian crush-fest. Thanks Netgalley for the copy.
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This is one of my most anticipated books of 2018.

This was my first Clair Legrand novel, and overall, I wasn't disappointed. The premise is intriguing, encompassing some of my favorite elements: powerful queens, epic fantasy, elemental magic, and alternating timelines. Even though I found myself preferring Rielle's story over Eliana, I can't wait to continue the series.
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This is a very action packed story with a lot of potential. I think part of the hype of this book was the push for an LGBT friendly romance when there really wasn't any of that as far as I could tell. Perhaps a little misrepresented but still a great read overall.
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I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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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.

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I really loved the element time plays in this story. There are two queens, both with unparalleled powers foretold by prophecies. I love dual perspectives. I love alternating timelines. I love prophecies so what happened? This book had all the things I enjoy but I struggled to connect to the characters. To really care about what they were going through.

I also really enjoyed the history of this world, I didn't love the characters but I loved learning more about their angel wars and prophecies. I also loved the trials though I never really feared for the main characters. Sometimes characters are built up so much you know they won't be harmed and it takes some of that heart racing fear and anticipation away. It can still be an interesting scene ... just not one that makes you *feel* anything.

I didn't hate it but I don't think I would reread it.
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Note: This is categorized as a Netgalley Review. I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

I’m giving this a very generous 3/5, but it’s more of a 2.5, if I’m being honest. I wanted to like this one, but I had such an incredibly hard time connecting to these characters. I’m all for a good YA Fantasy and this had the bones, but missed the point of connection that is so critical to a book’s success.

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TW: violence, battles, blood, fantasy violence

Furyborn follows the story of two women. Rielle Dardenne, who holds unspeakable power in her hands, the ability to control the Empirium, a magical force that holds the elements. When her powers are revealed, she is forced to prove herself as the Sun Queen, as the one who will use her powers for good, and not the Sun Queen’s counterpart, the Blood Queen.

One thousand years later, Eliana Ferracora is a bounty hunter, struggling to put meals on the table. Stories are told of the Blood Queen Rielle, and how she brought doom to the country. When Eliana’s mother goes missing, snatched by an organization that is stealing women across the city, Eliana is determined to find her. Joined by a band of rebels, she soon discovers that the empire is far more dangerous than she believed.

Told side-by-side, a thousand years apart, the worlds of Rielle and Eliana shockingly collide.

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Here is what I struggled with in this novel—the plot is good, but the characters are impossible to connect with. The book opens with a bang. You’ve got kidnapping, murder, a chase, fires, earthquakes, and a love triangle in the first 50 pages. It’s amazing. The Rielle chapters tend to be action-packed, whereas the Eliana chapters are more emotional, though still with plenty of action.

What makes that so tricky is that Rielle is clearly supposed to be a sympathetic character, but her chapters are so full of action that we get very little emotion from her. The emotional moments she does have don’t seem very fleshed out. Readers aren’t given space to sympathize with her or form an emotional attachment–an attachment that is crucial for the ending of the book to work. We get access to more emotions with Eliana’s journey, yes, but Eliana is written as a deeply complicated character. This made it hard to pin her down and get an established enough base with her to feel emotionally connected.

A contributing factor to this issue is the lack of world building in the beginning of the novel. You are sort of thrown in without a good understanding of where you are. The print book does feature a map, which my advanced copy did not have, so I think that was definitely an issue for me personally. So bear that in mind.

This was an ambitious book and the synopsis is so engaging, but the ending was easy to guess from the very beginning (and I never guess things, guys), and ultimately I had to force myself to finish it. This is the first book in a trilogy and the ending clearly sets up events for a second book. I would like to know how the overarching plot resolves itself in the other books, but I’m not sure if I want to put in the labor for another chunkster of a book (Furyborn clocked in at 512 pages!).

If you really like fantasy, I would suggest giving this one a go. But, if you’re like me and fantasy isn’t your go-to, I would skip it.
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I DNFd this book. There was so much hype around it. However I just couldn’t get into it. Nothing wrong with it just not for me.
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When I heard about Furyborn I was interested but I wasn’t sure I wanted to start another fantasy trilogy. It appeared to have all the elements I want in a fantasy read, but I’m in the middle of so many series it gave me pause. Then people started talking about it and really amping it up. And then I got my hands on a copy and I was done for. Furyborn was everything I needed and more.

Furyborn is the story of Rielle and Eliana, two women on a path in two different worlds. For years Rielle has hidden who she was from her world, hidden the fact that she can control all 7 types of powers. When she uses her powers to save her best friend and future King, Rielle finds herself participating in trials to find out just who she is. Eliana, on the other hand, is doing everything and anything she can to protect her brother and find her mother and finds herself waged in a war that is centuries old. She is hiding an important part of herself from the world for fear of how it will be used and who it could hurt. Both women are on separate journeys, but connected in ways they couldn't imagine. In the end one of these women will save the world and one will doom it.

It is really hard for me to put into words what I loved about this story. The world building was fantastic and I got a really clean picture of what I think Rielle and Eliana's worlds were like. I also loved the narrative and how it was told from beginning to end. And can we talk about the supporting cast of characters? From Audric, Ludivine, and Corien to Remy,  Navi, and my FAVORITE, Simon. All of these characters really made both Rielle and Eliana who they are and gave them the drive they have. But honestly, I think the dual POVs of Rielle and Eliana really helped me fall as hard for this book as I did. Really getting to know their fears and desires and inner thoughts made me understand their motivations and how they got to the places they were in their lives. 

From the moment I opened Furyborn I was hooked. The opening chapter gave so much yet so little away I needed to know more immediately. I felt like I got to know some of these characters in the first few pages and I was itching for more. I can’t say it enough, get your hands on this book and start this fantastic trilogy!
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😍 I luuuuuuuuuuuuurv reading omg this was so good. The connections between the past and present was expertly done and the fantasy was fantastic
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Will no longer be reading or reviewing this book due to lack of interest in the title following attempts to complete the book that have resulted in a DNF, and the fact that the title has been archived.
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The audiobook for this book is fantastic! I love the time jumping between the two characters, I love how they are both portrayed with similar personality traits yet they are so different. I look forward to the next book!
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This completely took me by surprise. It was wicked good; so good that I couldn’t stop myself from finishing it in one sitting. I don’t think I’ve ever read another book quite like it. That’s not an easy feat considering sometimes ideas aren’t as fresh as you want them to be. Furyborn wasn’t though. It was completely new.
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Furyborn was one of my most anticipated reads of 2018.  The cover, the plot description, and Claire Legrand's past hits made it a sure-read for me. Unfortunately, I ended up a bit disappointed by the formulaic plot.

The book starts with a big plot twist, which is something I really haven't seen before in YA literature.  It puts you in a different state of mind, looking for foreshadowing and  anticipating things that may or may not be coming. Ending each chapter with a mini-cliffhanger also helped build up the tension.  The plot throws tons of concepts to you, and your're expected to jump in and come along for the journey complete with angel wars, time travel, elemental magic, and more.

While the plot was really strong, where Furyborn lost me was the characters.  Eliana stands out from the story as the most likable character, full of growth and potential.  The rest all blend together in my mind, even the romantic interests, which surprised even me because Rielle's romance started on a strong note but ended weakly.

I'll definitely continue reading the Furyborn series when book two comes out because the plot held things together for me.  One can only hope new characters breathe some fresh life into the trilogy.

Thank you to the publisher and the author for providing me the ARC for review.
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I honestly would have liked it more if not for the prologue. The prologue gave so much information about one of the character’s storyline that I wasn’t surprised about anything because I knew what was going to happen. I feel like if they had just gone with that a different way then I would have liked this book more. Also I called the plot twist which wasn’t great. Other then those two things I enjoyed reading this book. It’s an interesting read.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars
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Not what I expected at all! The switch of timelines messed with me for a bit - but still a very cool read! The characters and background story really rounded out the plot line nicely and I am stunned! Highly recommend to fantasy lovers who enjoy elegant writing.
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This book was FANTASTIC from start to beginning. Very engaging!I was honestly not expecting the amount of great good epicness that was this book
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So, this book was weird.

I lowkey enjoyed it but I'm not impressed.

While I liked the main story i disliked the one in the past. This is a forgettable read in my opinion.

I still don't see the point of telling the story this way and I'm so sad I didn't like is as much as i wanted to.
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It was an enjoyable read. But I just couldn't connect with the characters. Which is a shame because I had such high expectations.
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While I have greatly enjoyed books by this author in the past, this one did not meet my expectations.  The concept is interesting, two women, connected through time and some dangerous enemies, must fight to protect their families and prove themselves, or die trying.  The book promised to have diverse representation of different identities, but instead relied on fantasy tropes and tokenism.  It is not a book I would use in diversity displays or LGBTQIA displays, because one could easily read the book making the assumption that every character is white, cis-gendered and straight.
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A fantasy adventure story with strong female leads that don't require a man to save them or validate them. Of course they also manage to make a mess of things themselves too. All in all these strong, independent, flawed woman are completely relatable and engrossing in their adventures. 
However, their adventures while full of danger and dark turns they are very backwards and forwards, forwards and backwards. Past to present and all in between. This book has the literary head turnings of a tennis match with how it jumps between the two time periods. At times it was hard to keep the happenings in the right time periods and with the right heroines.
The other characters are great fillers for the story. The love interest is kept to a minimum, thankfully. 
Grab this book for a night time read, maybe a chapter a night wouldn't be so head jarring, but don't leave it too long or the heroines stories could get confused. 
Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire and Netgalley for the chance to read and review this book.
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