Empirium #1

Furyborn by Claire Legrand

Publication Date: May 22, 2018

Summary from NetGalley:

FurybornWhen 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.


ARC provided by Sourcebooks Fire via Netgalley for an honest review. 


Sometimes you should listen to your instincts.  When this book first started showing up on my NetGalley dashboard, I was like, meh, I’ll pass.  Not that I didn’t find the premise interesting, just not interesting enough, and I already had lots of books on my TBR for May.  But then I started seeing the book everywhere, and so many people were writing about how much they loved it or it was one of their most anticipated reads of the summer, so I decided to give it a second look. I’m auto-approved with Sourcebooks, and I am usually not disappointed with the books I get from them, but I’m sorry I just never connected with this one.

There isn’t one big thing that I can point to as the reason why this book and I didn’t get along.  I just think there were lots of little things that irked me along the way, that just made it hard for me to like this book.  And I so wanted to love it like so many others do.  The author’s writing style was perhaps one of the things I din’t connect with.  I did struggle at first with the dual narration and their stories being 1,020 years apart.  I don’t think there was enough world building in either time period at the start of the story to help me understand why there was such a huge leap in time.  Also, there were times when the dialog was just too modern.  It always irks me when we have this elaborate fantasy world built and then all of a sudden the f-word is used.  It just jerks me out of the fantasy aspect.  But that is on me for sure.

While I liked the characters on their own,  I didn’t like any of them together.  The ‘love triangle’ (is it a love triangle when one of them is like, you two go ahead and be in love, it’s ok with me) really annoyed me.  When Rielle and Audric are together, I found them rather sappy and weak.  They are definitely stronger on their own.  I couldn’t understand Ludivine’s motivations, until her big reveal at the end.  

Then there is Eliana, I really had a hard time with her.  Her one redeeming quality was her relationship with her brother, Remy.  I loved that kid, he was the one character that I just wanted to give hugs to all day.  Simon, was probably my second favorite, and I am dying to know what happened to him while Eliana was growing up. 

The overall plot ended up being interesting and kept me reading, despite my other issues.  I also like the elemental magic aspect of Rielle’s part of the story.  The trials she had to go through were interesting and at times harrowing.  There are a couple of rather explicit sex scenes as well, so be aware of that.  Also, a few scenes that are pretty violent.  I would put this book in the upper YA to New Adult category because of the violence and sex. 

I am pretty much in the middle range with this one.  I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it.  Not sure if I liked it enough to read the next two books.  I will just have to leave that up to my instincts, which I should have listened to in the first place. 


  1. This is such a great review…Very coherent and on point… I did enjoy this one and excited with book 2 but I agree with everything you said. I was aware of its flaws while reading it but overall, I was glad I read it.. 🙂 🙂
    And Remy!!! Awww, I wanna keep him.. If he dies or anything happens to him in book 2, I’ll be enraged…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I finished reading this today and I think your review captures most of how I felt. This could have been an amazing book, but it just didn’t get there. My biggest issue was with the characterizations – I just could’t find myself feeling anything about Rielle or Eliana – they just didn’t feel like fleshed out characters enough.

    Liked by 1 person

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