Review: Furyborn (Empirium #1) – Claire Legrand

Furyborn (Empirium #1) was a YA novel that made my books to look forward to all the way back in May.

And yet, here we are in September, with me just finally finding myself in the mood to pick it up.

Did Furyborn (Empirium #1) live up to my curiosity? Keep on reading to find out my thoughts and opinions.

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34323570Furyborn (Empirium #1) by Claire Legrand

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (May 22, 2018)

Print Length: 501 pages

Audiobook Length: 17 hrs and 24 mins

Narrator: Fiona Hardingham

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. 

The Review

While Furyborn (Empirium #1) tries to tell an ambitious tales of deception, magic, and romance, its multiple timelines and lack luster characters made it a mountain of a task to complete.

Furyborn (Empirium #1) is a YA fantasy novel that tells the story of Rielle Dardenne and Eliana Ferracora as they try to maneuver themselves through suppressive kingdoms thousand years apart. 

While Furyborn’s potential is absolutely evident, I think where the book fell flat for me in terms of its format is with the dueling PoV’s. It was a daunting task on Legrand’s part, but I felt that I spent more time trying to keep the timelines straight in my head than I did forming connections to characters or understanding the magic system. Speaking of the magic system, I found that it was very hard to comprehend. In the world of Furyborn the characters in Rielle’s timeline are divided up among the element they are able to wield. Most characters are only able to wield one, while Rielle is, for all intent and purpose the chosen one, able to brandish them all. This is pretty straight forward, but Legrand also chose to include angels in the mix which made me wonder, for a majority of the novel I may add, whether or not the characters were using elements or whether they were actually angels. Finally, while this novel is labeled as YA, there are some very explicit sex scenes in the vein of something Sarah J. Maas would write, so just keep that in mind before you pick Furyborn up.

Due to my struggles with the format of Furyborn, the characters, and my attachment to them, also suffered. The prologue featuring both Rielle and Eliana was absolutely enthralling, and yet, by knowing where Rielle’s story is supposed to end made me kind of write her off. I also couldn’t help but be reminded of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter #4) every time she had to participate in yet another task to test her ability to control her elements. However, I found that by the end of Furyborn I could see myself continuing with the series just to see her progression, the same can’t be said for Eliana. I found her character to be downright unlikable, though I think that may have been the point of her, and almost wanted to skim her chapters in favour of maybe forming a stronger interest in Rielle. Also, I found that Rielle’s secondary characters were one hundred percent more likable than any Eliana came into contact with. I found to be Rielle’s lover Audric and best friend Ludivine to be vastly more memorable than Eliana’s younger brother Remy, who was a downright jerk, or her protector, Simon.

Even though I had a lot of negatives surrounding my reading of Furyborn (Empirium #1), I can still see a hint of potential in picking up Kingsbane (Empirium #2), set for publication in 2019, in hopes that the writing and characters could grow on me.

 alsoOverall Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. 

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indigo

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And those are my thoughts on Furyborn (Empirium #1) by Claire Legrand. Have any YA fantasy recommendations you think I should check out? Leave them as a comment below and help my TBR grow.


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