‘Furyborn’ by Claire Legrand sucked me and then spat me out frazzled. It had everything I didn’t know I needed.
Synopsis: Rielle has unparalleled power and to determine whether she will be an ally or a foe in the wars to come, she has been given seven trials to showcase the strength and stability of her elemental magic. If she passes all of them, she will be crowned as one of two prophesied Queens but she will be executed if she fails. An age later, Eliana does despicable things to keep her family alive and safe but soon her world is tilted upside down and she is thrown on a journey that leads to more questions than answers. How do these ladies connect? And why is it important?
The story is told via two timelines. One timeline follows Rielle and her progress through the trials and the other timeline is many (MANY) years later and follows Eliana and her journey of discovery. Both stories are clear and separate enough that I wasn’t confused at any point. You could if you wanted, read all of Rielle’s chapters first, and then read Eliana’s if you think you may get confused but the outcome will be the same. I felt that the mix of timelines helped the essence of the book. I especially enjoyed the prologue featuring Rielle and Garver. It’s special because even though it’s about Rielle, it’s Simon’s POV and doesn’t sit within either timeline. It’s both a future and a past scene. It’s a ‘somewhere in the middle’ chapter that still needs explaining after the whole book. I need answers goddammit! I need the second book!
I didn’t dislike Rielle in any means but it’s clear that her immense power went to her head. It’s understandable. After years of keeping the extent of her power a secret to her loved ones, it’s no surprise that once she’s able to flaunt it, she thinks of herself as ‘more’. Which is true; she is undeniably different to everyone else, however her thirst for power doesn’t stop with the elements, it grows into something other where I believe she starts to view herself as a Goddess. Corien only enhanced what was already within her mind, her soul. He was the devil on her shoulder egging her on but ultimately, everything is still her choice. I don’t view her as evil, I have to make that clear. She is a very complex character and a lot of thought has gone into creating her.
I preferred Eliana. I didn’t entirely believe the bounty hunter part to her but I suspect it’s due to my eagerness in reading the book that I may have skim read it in places at the beginning (I gave myself a talking to about slowing down a quarter of the way through). I also didn’t understand her relationship with Harkan? And I found her a touch naive at times, for example, thinking Lord Morbrae would help her in exchange for information. There were more flaws with her character than any other but I imagine her to be the hardest to write. Eliana has a lot of growing to do, big boots to fill and she has to learn a lot in the next book. This one was setting her up for the trilogy and so some faults I can accept.
I loved Simon. His character is very interesting to me. His marque abilities, his history before meeting Eliana in Orline and what are his feelings towards his Queen? Also, I love how ordinary his name is compared to the rest of the characters in this book, it just sets him a little higher on my opinion spectrum. I didn’t like him keeping secrets but I understand his reasons for doing it and I love that his loyalty is unwavering. Eliana made many stupid decisions and yet he was there every time. A man like that is definitely good to have around and I suspect (hope!) we see a lot more of him in the sequel. Also, I hope Eliana and Simon become a thing. SHIP ALERT.
A few chapters into the book, I guessed at the connection between the two leads but couldn’t be sure due to the timelines. Even though Simon confirms the connection, I STILL don’t know how it’s possible unless he travelled through time. I suspect thats also how he lost his marque abilities; he travelled to a time where power is myth? This question will keep haunting me until I have the next book in my hands, and I have no idea when that will be, which is extremely frightening because I am ready for book two now! – Also, quick guess about the identity of the Prophet; I think it may be Eliana’s ‘father’? There’s nothing to back this up, just a feeling I got whenever he was mentioned.
Furyborn is really good. Chocolate fountain and strawberries good. Taking your bra off after a long day at the office good. Toe-curling and wall trembling good (wink wink). I’d recommend it to fans of Throne of Glass; there are a few similarities but there was enough differences to not confuse the two. I loved reading this story, it held my attention right from the beginning and I wish I knew how many days to count down until the next one is available! GAHHHHH!
‘She was supposed to be the Sun Queen, their saviour and protector. And yet she had become the Blood Queen. The Kingsbane. The Lady of Death.’
I received this ARC in Fairyloot’s November ‘Ladies That Slay’ box.
You can get it here