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Empirium #1


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The stunningly original, must-read fantasy of 2018 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, 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.

501 pages, Hardcover

First published April 15, 2018

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About the author

Claire Legrand

29 books4,278 followers
Claire Legrand used to be a musician until she realized she couldn’t stop thinking about the stories in her head. Now she is a New York Times bestselling author of darkly magical books.

Her first novel is THE CAVENDISH HOME FOR BOYS AND GIRLS, one of the New York Public Library’s 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing in 2012. She is also the author of THE YEAR OF SHADOWS, a ghost story for middle grade readers; and WINTERSPELL, a young adult re-telling of The Nutcracker. SOME KIND OF HAPPINESS, her middle grade novel about mental illness, family secrets, and the power of storytelling, is a 2017 Edgar Award Nominee. Claire’s latest middle grade novel, FOXHEART, is a classic fantasy-adventure and a 2016 Junior Library Guild selection. The companion novel, THORNLIGHT, was a Kids' Indie Next Pick in 2021. She is one of the four authors behind THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES, an anthology of dark middle grade short fiction that was a Junior Library Guild selection, a Bank Street Best Book, and among the New York Public Library’s 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing in 2014.

Her bestselling Empirium Trilogy consists of epic fantasy novels FURYBORN, KINGSBANE, and LIGHTBRINGER.

Her young adult horror novel SAWKILL GIRLS received five starred reviews. It was also a 2018 Bram Stoker Award finalist and a 2019 Lambda Literary Award finalist. Her latest novel, EXTASIA, is a young adult horror novel described as "The Handmaid's Tale meets The Craft" and was a Kids' Indie Next Pick.

Her adult debut, book 1 of THE MIDDLEMIST TRILOGY, releases in spring 2023.

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Profile Image for Emily May.
1,964 reviews294k followers
May 24, 2018
The one question that kept spinning around in my mind as I read Furyborn is “why should I care?” I didn’t like the characters, the story almost put me to sleep, the stakes were never high enough to get my blood pumping, and the sex scenes made me laugh (not in a good way). I dislike giving one star but there was literally nothing I enjoyed about this book.

It's just too long, poorly-paced and oh so very boring. I feel like the author tried to channel Throne of Glass, which is also too long, poorly-paced and occasionally boring, but it still manages to somehow keep me interested. I need to break my notes down into points to try to make sense of them.

➽ Two perspectives. 1,000 years apart.
I'm not sure if I found it jarring and confusing because the book jumped quickly from one perspective to the next, not allowing me enough time to connect with either Rielle or Eliana, or if I found it jarring and confusing because these two different perspectives were 1,000 years apart, though the voices remained virtually identical and very little had seemed to change in that millennium.

If you compare it to our world, 1,000 years ago our world looked a little something like Game of Thrones but with disappointingly fewer dragons - how could so little have changed in that time frame in the novel? I sometimes couldn't even remember whose chapter I was on.

➽ A little less action, a little more conversation. Please.
Okay, that's decidedly less catchy. But I feel like this is a book of mindless action scene after mindless action scene. It lacked all the other things that give a story some substance-- complex characterization and relationships, world-building, compelling plot. It is 500+ pages of almost constant action and it draaaagggs. If I don't care about the characters or story, I'm just not going to care about the action.

➽ Bland characters.
You know what’s worse than a Mary Sue heroine? TWO Mary Sue heroines. Rielle is deliberately made to sound oh so baaaddd and uber-powerful but I just found her uninteresting. I think the author wanted her to be some kind of complex anti-heroine but instead she just rubbed me the wrong way with her all-powerful super specialness.

Eliana is pretty much the same. Super special cardboard cutout badass who is known as "the Dread of Orline.”

➽ What is the plot exactly?
I found it confusing to follow at times. I know what happened, but I really struggled to get a sense of what I should be concerned about, want to know, or root for, as I read. Rielle's chapters offered very little tension to me, even though I usually enjoy books with magical trials. Perhaps it was because she was so special that it never occurred to me that she might fail.

And Eliana's chapters were full of a lot of action but, again, I found it so dry and unexciting. It all felt like yet another forgettable YA fantasy bogged down by a bland romance and mindless action scenes.

➽ Romance, sex and bi rep(?)
It's just weird, honestly. Sex-positivity is great, the normalizing of masturbation is great, but these characters often act like sex is the most important thing in their world. I felt like all Rielle cared about was banging Audric the bland. I also don’t feel like it always was sex-positive, especially as Eliana seems to use sex as a form of manipulation most of the time.

The sex scenes themselves are pretty nauseating and overwritten, with the earth shaking and mist rising (no, seriously) à la Sarah J. Maas.

I don't know about you, but I was eager to read this for the bi rep. I've even heard this being touted as a "bi fantasy" which, having read the book, is a huge stretch. I'm gonna be honest and say I actually missed it the first time and had to go skimming back through the book to find it. The bi rep in this book is like two casual mentions of the MCs having been with women sexually. That's it. Great.

➽ To conclude...
I was mostly just bored. I think the book has a great premise, but that is by far the best thing about it. There was so much talk of angel wars and fantasy politics and deadly trials, but all that got lost somewhere under everything I didn’t give a crap about.

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Profile Image for Melanie.
1,172 reviews98.2k followers
May 30, 2018

ARC provided by Sourcebooks in exchange for an honest review.

“The queen stopped screaming just after midnight.”

Apparently, this is going to be a super polarizing book here on Goodreads, which is totally fine. Whatever your feelings are towards this book, they are totally valid. I did end up really enjoying it though. I thought it read like an adult high fantasy, I loved the constant juxtaposition between the two main protagonists, I thought it was high action back to back to back, and I loved how morally grey and ambiguous everyone was. Maybe this book just catered to my personal reading tastes a bit more than others, but I really loved reading this.

I loved the worldbuilding, I didn’t find it difficult to understand. I loved the fast paced and constant action. I ended up completely adoring many of the characters. I thought the writing was smart and lyrical. And I just overall thought this was an expertly crafted tale and made these two girl’s stories and parallels blend perfectly.

Furyborn is a book about two girls who are leading very different paths, from very different times:

“She was supposed to be the Sun Queen, their savior and protector. And yet she had become the Blood Queen. The Kingsbane. The Lady of Death.”

Rielle Dardenne - A girl that has been forced to hide who she is her entire life. In this world, it is rare to have a magical power, but completely unheard of to be able to wield all seven, well, except in a prophecy. After a life or death situation, her kingdom finds out, and then she is forced to complete seven magical trials or be executed.

“We live in a world where good kings die and those foolish enough to hope for something better are killed where they stand.”

Eliana Ferracora - A bounty hunter that is forced to work for the Empire, who put every rebel they find to death. In this world, this is the only way to survive, until Eliana’s family gets broken apart, and she is forced to truly see the world in a different light.

And one of the best prologues that I’ve ever read, shows the starts of how these two women are connected, despite their stories taking place one-thousand-years apart. We are also introduced to a prophecy about two queens, who will change the world and leave it impacted forever.

“Two Queens will rise.
One of blood. One of light.”

My favorite part of this entire book was seeing the juxtaposition between Rielle and Eliana constantly. This story is told entirely in alternating chapters/points of view of the two girls. They would be doing such similar things, a millennium apart, but we’d get to see the different reactions, choices, and actions they decided upon.

And we have a full cast of side characters who also have completely stolen my heart:
Ludivine - My second favorite character, and an amazing representation of found family and the unconditional love we have for friends. And like, give me all the wonderful girl friendships!
Audric - Rielle’s love interest, and the king in waiting. Also, a sweet cinnamon roll and powerful light bringer.
Corien - I could write at least one page on this character alone. But he’s wonderfully crafted, and I can’t wait for you all to meet him.
Remy - Eliana’s little brother, who is in love with stories and is just adorable in general.
Navi - Princess from another country that truly stole my heart. Also, more friendship goals.
Simon - Oh boy, I don’t even know how to talk about him. Simon ended up being my favorite character, but I can’t say much without spoiling things. He’s amazing, he’s caring, he’s selfless, and he’s a wonderful leader.

(Six of the Seven beautiful character cards created by Kate Trish!)

Next, I love you all, and these next two paragraphs aren’t directed at any one person. I’m only even writing them, because I’ve seen many reviews talking about both of the things I’m about to talk about. And both of these paragraphs are also going to be very personal to me, so please be respectful, and try not to hate me. Thanks.

I see a lot of people talking about how they feel the bi rep is bad because those characters think and talk about sex a lot, but I honestly think that’s such a dangerous way to think. Bi people/characters should be able to be promiscuous without the world yelling that it’s bad rep/bad actions. You all that do this set queer people back every time. And you only help to reinforce that stereotype. Hi, my name is Melanie, and I identify as pansexual, and you know what I like to have? A lot of sex. So, whenever people say things like this, it actually hurts me and makes me feel bad about myself. People should be able to have sex, a lot of sex, sex with one partner, sex with many partners, sex with themselves, and they shouldn’t be shamed for it. Literature, our society, and the damn world need more sex positivity. And you’ll never catch me shaming anyone or any book for having too much of it, as long as it’s healthy and consensual.

I also see a lot of people saying that there isn’t bi rep in this. Just because a bisexual ends up with the opposite gender, and only has sex on the page with the opposite gender, that doesn’t make them not (or less) bisexual. Both main characters, who both identify as female, state attraction to women, a few times, and that’s enough. Am I going to say this is the best rep in the world and I see myself so much on the pages? No. But am I going to discredit female bisexuals who are with men or who have never even been with a woman? Hell no. This is also super harmful thinking. Hi, my name is Melanie, and I identify as female pansexual, and you know what I’ve been in? A lot of monogamous relationships with partners that identify as male. People shouldn’t make bi/pan people only feel valid if their representation means they end up with the opposite sex/people who identify as nonbinary. Miss me with that gross line of thinking, please. Bisexuality is about attraction, not action, you don’t have to perform any action, sexual or not, to prove your bisexuality. And both these characters say they are attracted to women, one of them many times, despite her also performing sex work with females, which many are acting like that’s the only time she’s expressed attraction to women. Also, I’m not going to write a third paragraph about how we shouldn’t shame sex work, you all should just know better in 2018.

Okay, so moving on, the next thing I want to talk about is the portrayal of grief. I really appreciated the portrayal of grief and how real and constant it felt. And it is focused on by both of the leading protagonists throughout this novel. And even though this book is at least borderline New Adult, I still think YA and NA need so many more normalized stories of grief, and how it’s something you might always struggle with, with good days and bad.

And let me emphasize more, that this is a dark book that has constant dark actions and dark themes. When I said above that this reads like an Adult high fantasy, I truly mean it, even though I would consider this book New Adult, and even though it is marketed as Young Adult. Trigger/Content Warnings: Abuse, child abuse, death, gore, violence, abduction, kidnapping, animal cruelty, loss of a parent, loss of a loved one, sexual content, slavery, and torture.

Also, I’d like to touch on the animal abuse scene a bit more, because animal cruelty is one of two triggers that I personally have. Was the scene hard to read for me? Yeah, a bit. Do I think it was done in a malicious manner? No, not at all. Did the character feel really awful afterwards and remark on it a few times after the event took place? Yeah. And lastly, do I think it’s extremely believable that someone who doesn’t understand their powers would not think about harming an animal consequentially while using them to save the human being you love most in this world? Yes, 100% yes.

Okay, moving on to the romance. I was much more invested in Rielle’s romance than Eliana’s, which is maybe not the general consensus either. After reading the prologue, and knowing what happens between Rielle and Aurdric, I just became so invested to see the events that took place to make the events come to fruition. Like, I became obsessed. And I will read book two alone so that I can hopefully find out more. Also, yeah, there is sex in this book, but it’s tastefully done and for sure not anywhere close to the worst sex scene I’ve ever read. It was just a normal sex scene to me; nothing over the top and nothing bad. But it did heavily emphasize consent and making sure this was something that the woman wanted to do throughout the act. I loved that, and please give me more books like this.

“I don’t know how to both love you and be the person who sends you to war.”

But I really enjoyed this one, and I can’t wait to see where Claire Legrand takes these two interwoven tales next, especially with how both points of view leave off. I thought this was fun, and filled with action, and hard to put down each night. Also, give me all the *Breaking Benjamin voice* evil angelssssss! But I am excited to see how everyone feels upon release, since this does seem like a very polarizing book thus far.

You know who I really think would enjoy this book? Fans of The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen! Now, I know that that series is super polarizing, and I was such a strange reader and gave the entire trilogy three stars, but I truly kept thinking how much Furyborn reminded me of that series. But, dare I say? Better. It reads and feels better. Yet, if you liked The Queen of the Tearling, I would 100% recommend this to you still.

Overall, reading is subjective. And something that one person loves, another could just as easily hate. And one ownvoices reviewer can think the rep is bad in a book, where another could really appreciate and love it. As long as someone isn’t personally coming into my house and bothering me or my loved ones, I’m not going to fight someone over a book. Let people enjoy the things they love, and let people dislike the things they hate. But remember, telling a person their feelings aren’t valid is never a good look.

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The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

(Massive) buddy read with:
💗 Jessica at fringereading
💗 Amy at A Court of Crowns and Quills
💗 Julie at Pages and Pens
💗 Alexis at The Sloth Reader
💗 Jules at JA Ironside
💗 Jenn at I Will Seize the Day
💗 Lilly at Lair of Books
💗 Imogen at Imi Reviews Books
💗 Lourdes at Chapters We Love
💗 Paula at Je Speak Franglish
💗 And Rian
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,470 reviews9,633 followers
December 23, 2020
UPDATE: $2.99 Kindle US today 12/23/20

November Fairyloot ♥ More pictures linked below ♥


Holy shite balls! I loved this freaking book and I have a new favorite author and I hope the rest of the books in the series are just as good!

I love some bad arse woman in books. I had about 20 gifs of bad arse women to go with this statement but we will just go with a couple or so.... =D

This story is about Eliana and Rielle. This is told from both of their stories, one from the past and one in the present. I'm not going to get to heavy into this book as it comes out in May 2018.

Both women have wonderful characters in their stories. They have magic and they do good things and not so good things. It's a world people, a world full of everything! I love it! Fighting, killing, plotting, magic, assassins, angels, etc ....

I'm going to add a few excerpts that are actually some chapter headings:

"Since our war with the humans began, I have had only one dream. Every night, the fog surrounding it lifts, and I understand more of what I see: a woman, made of gold brighter than the sun. She stands in a river of blood, and light falls from the ends of her hair. Is she friend or foe? This my dreams have not made clear to me. But I know this: she will come. In this war, or the next-she will come."

-Lost writings of the angel Aryava


"Lift your eyes to the eastern skies
Wait for the sun, and with it-rise
We will march down the roads gone black with the dead
We will tear down their walls and paint their crowns red."

-A rowing song composed by suspected Red Crown ally
Ioseph Ferracora during the siege of Arxara Bay


"Dark-hearted Tameryn had never seen anything good come by daylight. With her daggers, she carved shadows from every corner and hollow. She breathed life into their gasping mouths, twined them around her limbs and neck, tied their newborn fingers into the ends of her hair. There the shadows whispered secrets to her, in gratitude, and so she was never alone, and always safe in the shroud of night."

-The Book of the Saints

This book made my day!

Happy Reading!

Mel ♥

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
Profile Image for Nadhira Satria.
432 reviews728 followers
December 31, 2019


Ladies and gentlemen, may I present.... The biggest disappointment of 2018
I WANT MY TIME BACK. I'm just thankful I didn't have to pay for this shit.
If this book was on fire and I have a bowl of water, I would drink the water
Let's break it the fuck down, shall we?

✨What I liked ✨

1.the beginning
the beginning was bomb as hell. It started off with a fucking bang and I was hooked. but as you can see from my one star rating, it went downhill.

2.The idea
ok fine the idea, the premise is interesting.

3. ya that's it

✨What I disliked✨


1.The main characters.
They're just basically two cats in heat. I feel 0 connection, I find their personality as lovely as a dead rat on the road. What is wrong with you idiots??
a) Eliana
bitch ass was supposed to be the tough bounty hunter and shit she even got the title of "the dread of orline." Nah Eliana is the typical "strong" "deadly" special snowflake ya mc with a personality of a goldfish. I cant stand her. I honestly feel like the author was trying to recreate Aelin from throne of glass. I hate Aelin but at least I can still read about her I can't say the same for this bitch

b) Rielle
i literally just sighed before I typed this. Ok. She's a mess. a mess. and not even a hot one. This bitch literally cares nothing other than "I'm so powerful" and how much she want to suck Audric's earth shattering penis. she's the definition of a cat in heat.

2. The plot

3.The Pacing
Watching paint dry is less boring than reading this

4.The Bi rep
My ass was so ready for the rep. bUT WAS THAT EVEN A REP?
Eliana is Bi and (Rielle is may or may not be?? issa mess)
What I hate is that these two bitches are thirsty as hell. tbh it just enforced the whole "Bi people are promiscuous" thing. I absolutely hate it. I mean Eliana would honestly fuck anything I'm done.

5.The smut
The ground literally shook when she came. if that doesn't make you laugh idk what will. I read better Draco Malfoy smut on wattpad back when I was twelve. How the fuck is this even ya??? literally half of this book is talking about how these two horny girls wanting to fuck.

6.The worldbuilding
I don't even know what I don't know

This was supposed to be the release of 2018. but nooooooo. I'm so disappointed I want to scream.
I honestly want nothing more than to throw this book into a well.... full of gasoline... I'll bring the match.
I'm honestly tempted to make a "I hate furyborn" club. Just so I can yell and rant and scream about this trash
ok adios I'm done

Buddy read with the furyborn buddy read gang:
fake Thai, Scrill, Emma, and Danielle
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews155k followers
April 15, 2021

I fear no darkness
I fear no night
I ask the shadows
To aid my fight
Rielle Dardenne is one of the legendary queens - either the queen of light or of blood. Either a queen of goodness, or evil.

She's hidden it her entire life but when one of her friends become threatened, she exposes her powers in front of the king.

Now that the kingdom knows, Rielle must undergo seven trials to prove that she's a queen of light and if she fails - well...let's just say that the kingdom has no use for a blood queen.
She was night itself reborn on earth, a queen swathed in shadows.
Meanwhile, over a thousand years later, Eliana Ferracora knew of Rielle but only as a fairytale.

Eliana is a bounty hunter but she's truly more of a butcher, trained by her mother.
“People like us don’t fight for our own hope,” he said quietly. “We fight for everyone else’s.”
From a young age, she has been taught to suppress her emotions towards killing but once she joins a rebel captain and finds herself in a whole different situation.

I was just...kinda expecting less and more.

Just give me less:

- Time -

Maybe it was because I was listening via audiobook, but I was really confused by the storylines and couldn't figure out how to piece them together.

I had no idea that the two storylines were separated by time until about 2/3 through the book.

And even when I finally figured out they were two different timelines, I didn't realize that it was a thousand years apart until I began writing this review.

It just felt like this book was trying to encompass so much time and space when really, it should've been a more focused.

- Action -

This book was like fight scene after fight scene. Trial after trial. And while those were interesting, it didn't really draw me into the plot of the book.

In the 400+ pages, I strongly feel like over half was just action scenes - which became hugely distracting.

Sure they were exciting, but often they didn't draw me into the plot.

- Sex Positivity -

So, I'm all for letting your freak flab fly but I'm very particular about it for a book.

It has to make sense, with the characters and in the context of the story. Especially with a book that's supposed to be plot driven.

But oh my gosh, the sheer number of masturbatory scenes and sex scenes - often it felt like they were just thrown in there for sheer shock value.

Just give me more:

- Character development -

If these characters were a color, they'd be beige. Except for the murder-y one (Eliana), she'd be a black spot in the middle of a beige wasteland.

I never connected with the characters, I just didn't care about them and when one of them died, I was relieved that that was one less person to remember.

- Romance -

Kind of pairing with the less sex positivity thing, I wanted more development from the relationships in the book.

I didn't care about any of the couples and I think it's in part because we rushed right into the sex bits.

Without the build of the relationships, the casual and detached sex took away my enjoyment of watching the couples grow and develop (since they are already "together", there's nothing for me to root for.


The beginning was good but this book was trying to encompass too much. II really didn't seem the point of having the book go on this long.

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Profile Image for Katerina.
422 reviews16.8k followers
May 24, 2018
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is with great pleasure that I present you the best release of 2018.

(Actually it’s a tie between Furyborn and Sky in the Deep. Please don’t make me choose, I love them both.)

Once upon a time, the angels roamed the world, burning it to cinders. But the Seven Saints rose and defeated them, and locked them away in a dark, dark prison, and thus ensuring the future of mankind. But their exile shall not last. As foretold by angel Aryava, the Gate separating them from humans will fall, and they will return, seething with rage and hatred, seeking to dominate the land of Aritas. That is when two human Queen will rise, two Queens carrying the power of the Seven combined. A Queen made of blood, and a Queen made of light.
One of them will save the world.
The other will destroy it.
“Some say the Queen was frightened
In her last moments
But I like to think that she was angry”

A few years ago I read Claire Legrand’s Winterspell. It was a truly unique novel, and Claire’s writing was sparkling with magic, but I was left a little unsatisfied. Wanting something more, something that would enchant me and make my skin tingle with anticipation and my heart flatter in my chest. And now, four years later, she delivered what I craved. She made me bow to her exquisite pen and boundless creativity. Because Furyborn is bloody brilliant. Featuring elemental magic, prophecy, angels, trials, war, politics, fierce and diverse characters and sweeping romance, it bedazzled me to the point all I could feel and breathe was Claire’s words. With her dual PoV, alternating between Rielle and Eliana’s time, she managed to fill a 1,020 years gap and make you equally invested in their stories, which were intertwined in the most satisfying way. She mixed fairydust and blood, and she created a stunning saga that filled your veins and your cells, that took you to a rich and dangerous world that made your body hum with energy like a living wire, and filled your mind with images and senses you could not erase.
“We all have darkness inside us, Rielle. That is what it means to be human.”

Deeply sensual and lush, Furyborn was brimming with intriguing and three dimensional characters. Rielle was a rather controversial one, a girl banished from the world, a woman who could not quench her insatiable hunger for attention, for admiration, for power and love.

Eliana, the Dread of Ornline, was a bounty hunter who silenced her conscience and committed terrible crimes in order to protect her family.

Always present, a shadow working as a puppeteer, was Corien, a villain that gave you goosebumps and was too alluring for your own good.

But every story needs a knight in his shining armor, a ray of sunlight between the looming shadows, and Furyborn was no exception. Prince Audric Lightbringer, the powerful sunspinner and soft marshmallow extraordinaire warmed your insides and made you want to cuddle him and keep him safe at all costs.

And then there was Simon, connecting the past with the present, a tortured soul devoted to the frantic request of a dying mother.

“We are all of us dark creatures, but if we linger in those shadows, we’ll be lost. Instead we must seek the light when we can, and that’s just what you’re doing. I see it happening.”

Furyborn was an intense novel. The most astounding thing about it was that you knew the majority of the important events that would take place since the first chapter. And due to this fact, you tried to guard your heart, to not get attached to characters you knew would perish or give in to the darkness, but it was a lost cause. You struggled and fought, but they crawled into your soul and tore it to shreds nonetheless.

All in all, Furyborn is a beautiful, dark and seductive masterpiece that will haunt me for a while. There’s nothing more I can say except READ IT PEOPLE.

[Source of these gorgeous Character Cards]

*ARC generously provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

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Profile Image for may ➹.
481 reviews1,957 followers
June 16, 2018
1.5 stars

There are books I will never be able to remember even if my life depended on it, and there are books that I wish I didn’t remember. Furyborn is one of the latter.

I enjoyed (very few) parts of it? I hated others of it? I was confused about it, but also really bored, and I found it hard to actually care about it sometimes? (So basically, everything I feel towards myself.) I’m just a whole bunch of negative emotions right now.

A list of what disappointed me:

🌹 the bi rep?
🌷 the bi rep
🌷 actually, the bi rep that didn’t feel like rep to me
🌹 the characters
🌷 the plot
🌹 the pacing
🌷 the predictability of certain plot twists
🌹 my… sudden inability to care about anything
🌷 so basically, a lot of things

And here’s a list of what didn’t disappoint me:

🌷 two (2) characters. just two

I think that the problem with this book is that it has such an interesting and fabulous premise. There are so many tiny aspects of this world and the story taking place that are so fascinating, and it could’ve made a REALLY great novel… but it didn’t.

Those aspects really could’ve been amazing also if the book had not been 400+ pages long. It is unnecessarily long and it was PAINFUL to get through. Even worse, it was told through alternating viewpoints, making it even longer. Rielle’s chapters were mainly about very similar trials that we knew she would complete, so they were boring. Eliana’s chapters were filled with lots of action, but it was all pointless, with no ultimate goal to everything that was happening.

The beginning was super !! good !! and it was actually interesting !! The prologue got me instantly hooked*. The first few chapters were action-packed and well-paced. And then suddenly we get to a point in the book where things start to drag and I suddenly find myself not caring anymore. A shock.

*Actually, while the prologue was exciting and engaging, it gave away waaaay too much information. Certain plot twists that were revealed around the 75% mark were easily guessed… right after reading the prologue. This is not good writing? When your plot twists aren’t twists and more of a confirmation of a theory you’ve had 300 PAGES AGO, you have a problem??? (But I will give credit to certain plot twists that I didn’t see coming. Unfortunately they happened at the end when I had stopped caring about anything.)

The characters could have been SO GOOD. So, so good. But again (like everything else in this book!!!), the actual writing of them failed and whatever emotion I felt towards them at the beginning slowly faded away after the numbing apathy that comes when you have to read 500 pages of something you don’t like.


Rielle is a woman whose magical powers are discovered after a certain incident, and she is forced to complete trials to prove those powers. She is written as a good-person-soon-to-turn-evil, so this gives off the impression throughout the book that she is a morally grey character. Except… is she? Is she really anything but a character who alternates between lusting after a prince and an angel?

She also just got on my nerve a lot. I don’t know what it was about her, but there was something in the way that she was written that just made her SO annoying. And also, I can’t define any personality traits of hers. None. (Besides annoying.)


Eliana is a bounty hunter who kills to survive. But an attempt to write her as if she is three-dimensional, or the least bit interesting, fails, and she is instead written in two dimensions: One is the “I kill everyone and I fear no one and you can try to hurt me and you will FAIL” side, and the other is the “I am so guilty about everything and I’m going to get really angsty and I’m also going to do something reckless” side. It uhhhhh doesn’t work well.

She was a slightly better character than Rielle, in my opinion, but just like Rielle, it’s very hard to actually get an idea of what her character is like?? Because she is nothing but bland??


I’m grouping these three together because they were the love interests. First of all: THAT SEX SCENE NEVER HAPPENED I DO NOT CLAIM IT. Second of all: There is a really weird love triangle between Rielle, Audric, and Corien. Except Rielle doesn’t want to be attracted towards Corien, but can’t help it. (Oh yes, totally healthy.) The romance between Eliana and Simon was weird, unnecessary, had no chemistry, and also, had a suspicious age gap (8 years). I found myself in between levels of “dislike” and “I don’t care” about all of these characters.


These are the only two people I claim. Remy is a poor smol who deserves better, and Navi is a GAY ICON I TELL YOU SHE IS GAY SHE IS GAY SHE IS GAY.

Okay, and now the rant regarding… the bi rep, which was extremely messy. And vague. And unclear. And just so very hidden.

One main character is said to have flirted with both men and women, but that’s the only mention of it. There is nothing else to suggest that she is actually attracted to both men and women. Bi women can flirt however they like, of course!! But just saying that they flirted with both men and women doesn’t mean actual attraction to them and to me, it just doesn’t offer good rep.

And the second main character mentions that in the past, she has had sex with both men and women in order to get information… but that doesn’t equal actual attraction. She also talks about the best lovers she’s had, one male and one female. This can totally mean that she is attracted to women and men! But the way this was written, FOR ME, someone who is attracted to multiple genders, read off as her just enjoying sex with that woman. The act of only having or enjoying sex ≠ equal attraction.

And I don’t mean to shame sex at all—we need more sex positivity in books!! (In fact, though it was a very very strange scene because of the context of it, there was also female masturbation in this book, which is important to be normalized!) But to me, again, one enjoyed experience of sex in the past does not automatically equate to actual attraction. You can enjoy sex with someone, but it doesn’t mean that you’re actually attracted to that gender. (There is, of course, sexual attraction, but not even that seems to be implied.)

And I’m completely fine with the fact that both of these girls end up with male characters—if they’re bi, they’re bi, and the gender of their partner can’t change that. But I didn’t feel like they were bi at all, just straight, and if they WERE bi, it was really messy rep to me.

I also feel like I should mention that I personally felt like other side characters could be queer?? For example, Navi I feel is a SAPPHIC PRINCESS who loves girls, and I could feel romantic tension between her and Eliana. And also Ludivine! Who seems like she had feelings for Rielle!! I have no idea if anyone else got those vibes, or if it will be explored in the rest of the series, so it was probably just my Wishful Gay Thinking.

(If anyone has specific quotes or anything that clears some of these things up, I’d love to see them! Note that I read an ARC and it may change in final publication. But the way this all read to me as a multi-gender attracted person did not seem like actual bi rep. I PERSONALLY do not feel good calling this bi rep, but if you felt represented by this, yay!! That’s awesome, and your feelings are 100% valid! But so are mine.)

There is a chance that in the next books, the plot may have an actual point (wow!), the characters may actually be well-developed and fleshed out (omg!!), and bisexuality will actually be clarified and explored (amazing!)… but this particular book did a sore job of it. It’s a big no from me, and everyone can leave me alone all bi myself to cry in disappointment, good night.

// buddy read with scrill, sapphic queen, psych nerd, & danielle

Thank you to Sourcebooks for providing me with a review copy! This did not affect my opinion in any way.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,535 reviews32.6k followers
August 1, 2020
holy smokes. how come i only just recently found out about this book/series!?! i feel like ive been hiding under a rock. lol.

i originally picked this up because i heard there are angels in it and, although i wouldnt necessarily consider this a book about angels, it still met my expectations. and more!

what really got me was how there was not one main character i didnt like. usually with multiple POVs, there is one character who i prefer more than the others. so i was surprised when i found myself really enjoying both rielle and elianas stories and everyone included in them (the chemistry between rielle and audric is something else). i also like how both stories feel different, yet connected. i enjoyed the world-building. there was enough to answer all my questions, yet vague enough to keep me guessing. theres just a lot i liked about this.

this first installment feels like only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this series. im so excited to dive deeper into the story/world!

4.5 stars
Profile Image for Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink.
259 reviews4,901 followers
May 31, 2018
4.5 Stars!!

This was REALLY fun.

Only minor spoilers below - nothing big.

Let's start with the prologue because holy crap that was fantastic. Way to suck me in, Claire. Anyway, we're thrust into an intense birth-and-escape scene where Queen Rielle delivers her daughter and shoves her into the arms of a young boy-Simon- telling him he must escape and save her life. Simon basically witnesses this whole horrific scene with the queen and an angel that has come for her before whisking the baby to safety. (Safety meaning years and years later because Simon has that type of magic.)

The first chapter takes us years previous before Rielle becomes the ever-famous 'Blood Queen'. We follow her story as her life leads up to the inevitable prologue. Additionally, as a dual POV, we watch her daughter years in the future, who has no idea her real heritage. We learn of a prophecy, one that speaks of the coming of a 'Sun Queen' and a 'Blood Queen'. Thanks to the prologue, we know Rielle is the 'Blood Queen'.

Anyway, I was super invested in Rielle's story, especially knowing how it 'ends'. It's almost a villain origin story, except Rielle's heart stays true. I don't want to spoil much, but her story begins when the kingdom discovers she can control all the elements with her magic, not just one like the rest of the population. They assume she is the long-foretold Sun Queen, and to prove she is the Sun Queen and not the Blood queen, she must complete Trials in front of the kingdom. She also has a bit of a forbidden romance with Audrik , the prince, though there are about a billion things keeping them apart. Anyway, phew her scenes are super riveting, especially at first. While she's completing the Trials (which are cruelly put together), she hears a voice. She grows to know the voice as Corien and discovers he is an angel. (Which again, we know Corien is the one she tries to save her daughter from in the prologue.)

Then we have Elianna, her daughter. In her time, she's known as the "Dread of Orline" - she's something like a bounty hunter. Think Celaena Sardothian from the 'Assasin's Blade' - or something like that. She's a bit of an anti-hero--she's fierce and doesn't listen to anyone, but somewhere in there, she has a good heart. We don't know what happened to the boy that saved her as a baby, and she doesn't remember any of that. She was raised by another family and pretty much only cares about them and no one else. BUT her 'mother' goes missing and Elianna gets mixed up with a man called the "Wolf' who makes her a deal to find her mother if Elianna will help him.

So the story jumps in two different directions.

Anyway, the pacing was batshit crazy - there isn't a single dull moment. I almost wonder if it was *too* fast at times, but I applaud Claire's ability to suck the reader in and keep them turning the page. Expect a ton of action! The crazy fast pacing lost me a bit at the end though. I feel like things with Simon + Elianna were a bit rushed - I think Elianna's character arc felt a little fast at the end. As far as Rielle, I still like her a lot, and I loved the whole struggle with Audrik vs Corien. I think at the end, I was just expecting a big blow up with Corien vs Elianna, but nothing really happened -yet. (Soooo I'll be back for a sequel...)

But the story was fun! Corien was a fantastic villain - I'm super intrigued by him. If you know me, I'm a sucker for a good villain.

Do I recommend this? You bet.

*** A huge thanks to Source Books for the early copy!

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Profile Image for ELLIAS (elliasreads).
477 reviews38.2k followers
May 26, 2018
Well. Here’s to a new season of FANTASY 👏🏻

To say I went into this book with reservations and Z E R O expectations is an understatement because this book is h e l l a f u c k i n g HYPED.

H Y P E D i tell you.

but, bUT, BUT....it. was. really. fucking. GOOD.

I was honestly not expecting the amount of great good epicness that was this book.

Aside from the riveting and hyping reviews, there were also the polarizing and scathing reviews, but most of them consisted mainly of points that either stated the book was too long and boring, or trashing the world building and characters.

Well golly gee, I didn't what to think going into this book pre-review. I was prepared to drop it like old takeout into the trash....however,....said takeout was actually fucking delicious and fresh af.

thank god.

I honestly can say that there are only two times in my life where reading fantasy has taken a firm and gripping hold on me, a new and refreshing take the genre itself; a new outlook, something I know and will grow to love.

Two eras:

The Lord of the Rings books


The Throne of Glass books

Say what you will about TOG series but I read the first three books before I knew anything about booktube and overhype and toil and trouble and I actually really enjoyed this series (it has gone rather downhill but i am faaaaar too invested into giving up now).

And now, enter Furyborn.
And I can see, in the near future, a HUGE potential for this series to become an added fav to the collection. Key word p o t e n t i a l.

I for one, agree with all the 5 star reviews because they say pretty much the same thing.

world building.
world building.
and so and so forth.

This was an extremely solid start to a new fantasy era for me because I've been wobbling on this spectrum for quite a bit, not really caring or investing into most of the other fantasy books I've read since after LOTR and TOG. (OFC, there are other great fantasy books as well but I count these in line with the TOGs season).

Only thing I docked off a star for would be the repetitive story telling of the two main characters-- the alternating chapters back and forth, although, each chapter was relatively short and managed to hold my attention long enough to want to know what would happen to each character.

Also, I didn't really care for Rielle's story. I didn't really care for her and Audric's romance or life. Geez all they wanted to do really was have sex and the 'heat' between them was bothersome for me and some cringe but it's fine; they're literally hormonal teenagers caught in the crossfires of war of kingdoms and magic. lol.

But as for Eliana's story.....HELL YEAH GIVE ME MOOOOOOORRREEEEEE.

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Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,662 reviews5,144 followers
June 23, 2018
DNF @ pg 210

I normally don't give star ratings to DNFs unless I've put in a substantial enough effort to fully determine my thoughts on the book, but I'd say 200+ pages of effort is enough to justify a star rating for this one.

Do you ever have one of those books that something in your gut tells you, 'You're not going to like this one, but you give it a try anyways? And then within a few chapters, you realize that your intuition was totally right and you never should've bothered? Because that was this book for me, from chapter one onward. Despite reading this with a group of lovely reviewers who were all enjoying it vastly more than I did, I just couldn't seem to get into the hype or form any enjoyable connection with the plot or characters.

Furyborn starts off strong, don't get me wrong. The prologue is absolutely beautiful and had me thinking that maybe I would end up shocking myself and loving this book, but as soon as chapter one began, it felt like a totally different author had taken over. The writing wasn't as beautiful or captivating, the characters weren't as intriguing, and the plot wasn't as enthralling. By the end of the first chapter, I felt like a dark, gloomy cloud had settled over my entire reading experience.

The story shifts between two perspectives: Rielle, from the past, and Eliana, from the present - two queens, both with incredible powers foretold by prophecies. I love alternating perspectives, I love split timelines, and I love prophecies. I even love tournaments, which is what a substantial portion of Rielle's narrative revolves around. And there's bi rep? Theoretically speaking, this book should have checked all my fantasy boxes! Here's why it didn't:

• Eliana is painfully unlikable. I adore morally grey characters more than anything, but I need them to be genuinely grey, and in my opinion, Eliana wasn't. She flips constantly between cold-hearted cruelty, or bouts of angst and shame, and I just wanted her to commit one way or another rather than falling to pieces every time she was alone for more than five seconds.

• I immediately grew weary of Eliana's arrogance and insistence that she could destroy or seduce anyone she met. I am so here for sex positivity, don't get me wrong! But half of the time, her motives behind seduction or even flirting are to gain the upper hand or trick someone, and that's a trope that gets old fast for me. I'd much rather see a character have sex because they want it, as opposed to using it as a means to an end.

• Rielle is not only boring, she's also fully out of control - which makes sense, given that she was raised not to utilize or temper her powers, but her lack of self-control is portrayed via a scene of animal abuse that left me positively infuriated and sickened. There are so many ways it could have been presented that wouldn't have made me hate her character, but the fact is that, as the abuse was occurring, she noticed that her actions were harming the animal, but disregarded the consequences until they were brought to her attention in a fairly graphic and incredibly difficult to stomach manner.

• The world-building feels so unrefined to me. The entire notion of their world, politics, and belief systems were fascinating on the surface, but after over 200 pages, I still felt like nothing had been properly explained and, to be frank, had lost faith that they ever would be. I love books with action as much as the next reader, but I genuinely feel that Furyborn sacrifices building up its world and magic system in favor of over-dosing on fight scenes and trials, and I wasn't here for it.

There were a few things I enjoyed, such as the prologue, or the bi rep Rielle offered (I actually almost finished the book just in hopes of seeing a polyamorous relationship form between herself, the man she loved, and that man's fiance). Unfortunately, though, there was a lot more that I didn't like.

I received this ARC from Fairyloot, but these are still my honest opinions, as always. If you disagree with my opinions, I'm always happy to have a friendly conversation about our disagreements, but please be respectful in your discourse! <3
Profile Image for  ••Camila Roy••.
161 reviews49 followers
July 3, 2018
RATING: 4.5/5

Well...that was intense! Long review coming through :)

When assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle 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. 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 the evil at the empire's heart. 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.

First impressions while reading:
-Something was throwing me off from the characters and the plot. I was a bit confused
- I thought Eliana was one of those “strong” female characters that have amazing physical strength to make up for lack of personality.
-I made some assumptions about the plot and kind of discouraged myself to continue (NEVER do that guys).

Any assumption, theory or idea I had related to the plot was very far off from what really happened. This book is AMAZING. I want to reread it immediately and experience everything again. THIS IS HOW YOU START A SERIES. None of that “it’ll gets better with the second book” stuff.

Rielle is a very transparent character, in my opinion. I feel like she was written to be complex, misunderstood and maybe a little insane. But in reality, she’s just a girl with magical powers trying to get her shit together. What is so hard to understand about that? We know what she’s capable of, we know how her mind works. It’s all out in the surface for everyone to see. In comparison to Eliana, she is quite predictable.

I LOVE RIELLE AND AUDRIC. Relationships that develop out of friendship are my biggest weakness as a reader.

”If there is wickedness inside you, Rielle,” Audric said hoarsely, his lips in her hair, “then I shall treasure it as I do every other part of you”.

Get yourself a guy like Audric, he’s a keeper.

Eliana kinda scares me. Her mind works in very twisted ways and she is highly unpredictable. But my initial impressions were wrong, she does have a personality and a very intriguing one at that. Unlike Rielle, Eliana doesn’t care what people (outside of her family) think of her. That's the biggest contrast between the two main characters.

I very much enjoyed the back and forth POVs. Each chapter was better than the previous one. One minute I was missing Eliana’s story and the next, Rielle would swoop in and grab my full attention. It was very interesting to see the connection between both plots and how the events of Rielle's time shaped Eliana's world.

Final impressions while reading:
-Rielle and Eliana are my queens, I love them SO MUCH. Same thing goes for their significant others.
-Well this was an unsatisfying ending….when is the sequel coming out?!

As you can see, I REALLY LOVED THIS! I seriously cannot wait for book two!!! I definitely recommend you emerge yourself in this awesome world and grow to love these two women just as much as I did.
Profile Image for Alana.
665 reviews1,266 followers
May 20, 2018
"We  all have darkness inside us, Rielle. That is what it means to be human."

Thank you Sourcebooks Fire for providing me with an early copy of this!

Plain and simple, I loved this. The premise of this book was so incredibly intriguing to me that even if I had not received a copy of this book I would be racing to the bookstore on release day to get my hands on it. Two Queens that are separated by a thousand years but somehow their lives are intertwined to determine the fate of the world? YES PLEASE. 

*PSA: There are super, super minor spoilers in here that do not really affect the way you will read this story but just a little heads up!

The prologue of this story is absolutely WILD. I was legitimately sucked in from the very first page, which is so rare for me. It's a heart pounding birth scene followed by an escape scene. You'll meet the first queen, Rielle, and the boy who must help the queen's daughter escape, Simon. And while a whole other slew of names are being thrown around and you have no freaking clue who anyone is, you'll find yourself flying through the pages to figure out what is actually going on.

But it does get a little confusing...

The actual first chapter of the story takes place before the prologue, in fact ALL of Rielle's story takes place before the prologue. Basically the prologue is kind of like Rielle's end game, and the story then reverses and takes you on the journey of what exactly happened to Queen Rielle and the seven trials she endured. I genuinely liked Rielle, I loved reading about the trials that she went through, her "forbidden romance", and the angel/villian who was mind speaking to her. Plus Corien, the angel/villian, was so well written that I was dying for Rielle's chapters just to get some more Corien action.

And I totally loved that the angels are the bad guys in this one, because like, when are they ever?

Skipping ahead to the next chapter, you'll meet Eliana, the Dread of Orline, which basically just means she's an assassin for the Empire and the best of the best (even though it seems just about everyone she fought was much better than her?) Whatevs, you catch my drift. Anyway, Eliana's story takes place 1000 years after Rielle's, where Eliana suddenly finds herself thrown into a mission with rebels, the very people she murders for a living, in a desperate attempt to save her mother after she goes missing. She meets a boy, Simon (ahem, ahem), from the Red Crown rebel group who tells Elianna he will help her find her mother as long as she helps him first. And so begins their little tango of deceit, lies, and withheld truths to one another.

I really enjoyed that each chapter bounced back and forth between Eliana and Rielle, it made reading the story so much more intriguing and left me dying for "just one more chapter" every time I was able to sit down and read this. So if you can, read this when you have plenty of time and minimal distractions, you can thank me later ;)

Now I promise I will not give away any major spoilers, but I  did deduct a half star because the "big" plot twists are honestly kind of obvious from the prologue.  There will be plot twists you didn't see coming though! The other half star I deducted was due to how confusing this story actually becomes about 60% in. There are SO MANY unanswered questions upon finishing this, and so many "wait what the heck just happened" moments. I understand that there are two more books but to read 500+ pages and not even know why angels/humans are at war with one another was a little disheartening. A GIRL NEEDS TO KNOW! Also, while technically we know Rielle's ultimate ending from the prologue, we never get there. And I have a feeling we were not even close to getting there. Which is why y'all better believe I will be first in line for book two! But still, it was kind of a bummer.

All in all, I would definitely recommend this one to any high fantasy lovers. If you like ToG, you will probably love this one. If you like well written villains, don't skip this one. If you like betrayals, forbidden romances, magic, badass females, action-packed pages, then mark your calendars because this bad boy hits the shelves this Tuesday!

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Profile Image for Samantha.
417 reviews16.7k followers
March 21, 2020
Reread: 3/20/20 on audio - enjoyed Eliana’s chapters way more this time than on first read. I’m glad I decided to reread before moving in to book 2, as I forgot more than I realized.
Profile Image for Whitney Atkinson.
916 reviews13.9k followers
July 10, 2022
Original rating: ★★★☆☆
Reread rating: ★★★★★

June 2022

I remain convinced that this is one of the best and most underrated YA series of all time. What this first book lacks in speed and depth, the rest of the series make up for it twofold. I was weeping while rereading this just from the sheer fact of knowing how it ends, so all the foreshadowing and flashbacks were that much more impactful. I can see why I rated it 3 stars the first time around because it keeps you in the dark on some things that end up being very significant, but over the course of the series I grew to love these characters so much and now any subsequent rereads are going to be 5 stars, no matter what. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this series.

March 2020

Thanks Sourcebooks for the review copy!

3.5 stars

During the first half of this book, I was convinced I would give it 4.5 stars. I was really liking it, and my vlog footage matched that same excitement. but the last 100 pages of this book lost so much steam, it's like the author got tired of writing it and just flung her characters into situations without thinking whether it's realistic or explained enough.

The main character Eliana reminds me so much of Lou from Serpent & Dove. She lives just to survive, so she'll switch to any alliance or do whatever's necessary to protect her friends and family. This made her interesting.... but also seemed a little like a Celaena wannabe at times. Still, I liked her banter with the Wolf and I thought she was smart--again, excluding the final 100 pages.

The biggest disappointment here for me was how the plot points didn't really fall into place. This book was trying to be an assassin book, an elemental magic book, and an angel book all at once, and it just got confusing and underexplained. The plot point about angels should have been cut, in my opinion.

Also I'm a little upset about the rushed romance--or not even romance, but just how the Wolf went from being a great stoic character to randomly a smitten jokester. His development was so lazy and I didn't understand the shift from "you're terrible i hate you" to "i would bow on my knees to you, my life is dedicated toward you."

So many small pieces of this didn't fall into place for me, so I'm gonna try out book two and see if it solidifies anything. But I did like that this book was a dual POV and had a really steamy scene for it being a YA book.
Profile Image for Heather.
389 reviews16.8k followers
December 23, 2018
I’d say if your a fan of Sarah J. Maas books I think you would love this!

I do think maybe there was to much action and not enough dialogue and world building but overall was a very enjoyable read!
I definitely will be continuing on with this series and can’t wait for the next book!
Profile Image for Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen).
423 reviews1,628 followers
October 5, 2018
3 Stars

Con ● flict ● ed

Verb: Past tense
Kaylin’s feelings about this book

I could write a review recapping this evil-angel infused fantasy world, or promoting the ‘two-strong-willed-female-protagonists-hundreds-of-years-apart-with-somehow-linked-stories’ but I don’t think there’s anything new I can add to that conversation? Those elements are fun There’s some issues with execution, but nothing that ruins them?

So I’m going to focus on the three things I’m conflicted about. Aka: the things bringing this book down.

1. That Prologue

Objectively, it’s a phenomenal first chapter. If you pull it from the rest of the story and focus only on how it serves as an introduction to the characters and magic system… it’s fantastic. The writing immediately creates this high-tension environment that sucks you in. But it also, spoils almost every single plot twist the book works so hard to create.

I don’t think this kills the tension…. and I think there’s intrigue in watching something unfold. Even when you know the ending, that doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy the ride, right? But… It also really kills all the impact of those ‘twists?’ While the narrative and characters are screaming and all:


I’m sitting there like:


And I can’t help but wonder how I would have reacted if the story had time to build and slowly twist and turn?

2. That Bi Rep

This is a really tricky conversation. Because I don’t ever want to police someone’s sexuality. I don’t want to come across like I’m gatekeeping or like I get to decide what’s ‘bi-enough.’ But advertising this book as “bisexual rep” seems like a stretch?

First, a woman who identifies as bi and is dating a man is still bi. Period. Send Tweet.

But neither woman seems to identify that way? They never discuss their sexuality nor is it ever really mentioned on the page. Instead what we are left with is a sort of vague “well they hinted about being with a woman before… so I guess we are supposed to interpret that as them being somewhere on the bi-spectrum?”

I mean that literally. For both characters there is only one line of text each that hints towards the MC’s not being strictly hetero.

I don’t believe labels are necessary for representation. But I also don’t believe every woman who references finding another woman attractive would consider themselves bisexual?

The whole thing just feels messy. Because while it could have opened so many important, relevant discussions… it just stays muddled and unclear instead? And sometimes sexuality is messy and unclear, that’s okay. But maybe… acknowledge it?

But also… yay for diversity in YA? And it could be said that showing two characters who don’t label themselves but lie somewhere on the spectrum… could be really progressive? (Not in my opinion, because again… it’s never acknowledged and just makes the narrative look really unaware??)

So. Make up your own mind. But, as a bisexual woman, when looking for stories that make me feel seen and understood… this isn’t one I’d reach for.

3. The SexyTimes

Brace yourself ya’ll. There’s explicit sex in this. Frankly, I’m kind of surprised we’re still having this conversation? Not having sex is normal BUT so is having sex. This normalized sex and discussed it as a real, tangible thing. It’s also the first book I’ve seen where female friends actually have a conversation about birth control?? Which is just SO important.

So with as hard as this worked to normalize sex and show that empowered women can STILL be sexual if they choose… why was the sex literally ground-shaking. Why was the actual sex painted like some huge-grand-life-changing event??

In Conclusion:

See earlier definition. I still don’t know, dude. This was stuffed with a lot of ideas and conversations. Some work… some just… don’t.
Profile Image for Angelica.
805 reviews1,131 followers
May 5, 2020
Let me start by letting you all know that as a reviewer, it is my responsibility to give honest opinions. And I'm about to get real honest with y'all. Proceed at your own caution.

Now let's get to it.

As the title of my review implies, I (personally) believe that this is the single most overhyped book of this year. It seems that everyone and their mother somehow got an ARC of this book and was raving about it.

All that hype, of course, did nothing to settle my nerves and in fact, made me almost certain that I was going to find something horribly wrong with the novel and absolutely hate it. And you know what?

I mean, I didn't hate it. So, I guess there's that. It could've been worse.

Did I love it though? No. Not really, as you could probably see by my rating.

So, how did I really feel about it?

Well, you're about to find out.

First, to settle the big question: is the hype real?

I wanted to love this book. I hoped that this would have lived up to the tremendous hype that surrounded it. It didn't.

I think the main problem that I had with this book is that I simply didn't care for either the plot or the characters. Those characters could have all been hit by busses and I probably wouldn't have cared. If anything, it might have made things more interesting because I seriously wouldn't have seen that bus coming (and neither would the characters getting ran over lol). Talk about the ultimate plot twist, am I right?

First off, there are two alternating POVs from Eliana and Rielle. They are set a thousand years apart although I don't know why. They two POVs don't play into one another at all and read more like two separate books than one interconnected story.

Plotwise, I feel like the pacing was a little off.  There was no build up. The story started with a bang and didn't stop. This might not sound like a problem, but what it means is that there was a lot of action and very little of anything else. 

I didn't have time to care about either of the main characters because it just kept jumping back and forth from action to action in both perspectives. There was no time to get to know either of them and the little that I did learn about them was pretty unlikable.

Eliana, for example, was insufferable. The "Dread of Orline" was what they called her because she's just that much of a badass. She's an Aelin type character, but with none of the fun personality to back her up. Also, I don't understand worlds were 16-18-year-olds can be the best warriors or assassins or whatever it is. Like, what the heck is everyone over the age of 19 doing with their lives? But that's a discussion for another day so stay tuned for it y'all!

Then there was Rielle, who was the single most powerful person in the section story, and whom I equally disliked. Her personality, in my opinion, revolved around her growing lust for her own power, and her growing lust for Audric and Corien. She didn't really think about much else.

Basically what I'm saying is that this book made both of the main characters seem like overpowered, boring, special little snowflakes. They are both so incredibly powerful and "special" that there was never any tension when they were "in danger". They were total Mary Sues. They could do no wrong and everyone loved them, despite both being pretty unlikable people.

And a final thing! I can't talk about this book and not talk about sex, especially since that's all the main characters ever seemed to think about.

Now, I have no problem with sex scenes. I'm not too much a fan, but I don't have any issues with them being included in novels. So long, of course, as they are somehow important and meaningful to either the character's development or the plot. My problem is with unnecessary sex scenes that do nothing other than show sex. Especially overdramatic, literally earth-shattering sex (I kid you not), and especially in YA. Honestly, though, it felt more New Adult than Young Adult so keep that in mind if you're iffy on that subject.

I think the thing I hate most about this book is that it could have been good. These characters could have been amazing. This story could have been great. I could have loved it gosh darn it!

Had the author decided to write some quality worldbuilding (other than the comments made by Remy that were obvious exposition). Had the characters been a little less stiff and generically special. Had the POV's played into each other a little more and felt a little more like one congruent storyline. Had the original idea behind this tale been a little more developed. If only a lot of things and this could have been an amazing novel.

But none of that happened. And so the book wasn't.

Sorry. Not sorry.

But, let's get positive for a second. All books have good parts, don't they?

So, what good parts did the novel have?

Well, there was a lot of action. There was very little of anything else, but at least there was that so yay!



I don't really know.

The start was interesting, I suppose. It gripped me from the very first page. Admittedly, it lost me like fifty pages afterward, but the beginning was cool.

Also, a lot of the side characters were much more interesting than the main ones, not by much but I wouldn't have minded reading their stories instead.

And that's it, I guess.

This book is over 500 pages long and I was struggling to keep going. I almost quit halfway through and only pushed forward because this was an ARC and I do not leave those unfinished.

So, do I recommend the book?

Still, I also understand that I'm in the minority. A lot of people have really, really loved this book, a thing which I totally respect. If you are a fan, then more power to you! I'm genuinely glad. Heck, let me know in the comments what you loved about it if you want. I just don't think this book was right for me. You, on the other hand, might love it. But go into it at your own peril and if you don't like it, then remember I warned you!

Let me know down below if you've read Furyborn and what you thought of it! I'd love to hear your thoughts! And remember to be nice! We're all friends here!

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Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,084 reviews17.5k followers
Shelved as 'zzzzz-coverporn-etc'
February 1, 2018
I just found out that this is bi fantasy and honestly the fact that I wasn’t notified? homophobia

Arc received from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review. (Jan 31)
Profile Image for April (Aprilius Maximus).
1,093 reviews6,577 followers
July 28, 2018
I have so many mixed thoughts about this, but overall it was a pretty big disappointment :(
Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,052 reviews49.2k followers
March 25, 2019
guess who's back
back again
chandler's back
(on her FANTASY SHIT) tell yo friends

it's gonna be real hard for me to objective here. the only other fantasies i've read thus far in 2019 have been cassie clare books & morgan rhodes book. which i adore. but i haven't read a truly ORIGINAL fantasy this year.

and honestly thank fuck for claire legrand. this was phenomenal. and again, maybe i just haven't read fantasy in a while but i don't think that's it. i really do think this was awesome.

first off let's address why other people did not like this book and why i did

unlikable main characters: ok but sign me tf up. 2 pretty powerful, power HUNGRY, unlikable women with a thirst for blood and sex? i fucks heavily with it.

bisexuality issues: i listened to the first part of this on audio so maybe i missed the issue but seriously what is everyone on about? my bi ass had no issue.

complicated/unexplained magic & religion: i thought it made sense given that this is a three book series, that not everything would be instantly given to us. it was no confusing to me, and it left me wanting to know MORE. which is sort of the whole point of a book 1 in a series

now let's just talk about shit i liked cause i'm feeling lazy
- rielle
- elliana
- audric
- SIMON <33333333333333333
- the PLOT
- the TWISTS

just everything ok? see above. i'm lazy.

if you're a fan of throne of glass or hunger games i think you will really fcking enjoy this. go read it :)
Profile Image for Christian.
289 reviews327 followers
June 16, 2018
I finished this first thing this morning and was gonna write a review for it sometime throughout the day, but now I just ate two huge wraps and fell into my bed so I guess it ain't happenin'.
Profile Image for Grace A..
384 reviews40 followers
September 20, 2022
Furyborn is a great introduction to the trilogy. Two queens, a generation apart, tied together by blood and a prophecy. In one generation, a world, free and filled with magic is transformed into a world ravaged by war, very few believe there's such a thing as magic, and killing to survive is a thriving occupation. The only thread between the two generations is the bloodline of the queens, and the villainous, telepathic, evil angel bent on revenge.
Eliana, the 2nd generation queen, need to awaken her dormant power and face the close to the impossible task of defeating an ancient evil being. She is all about self-preservation and survival, but to save the dying kingdom, she will need to be self-sacrificing as well; for Eliana, that's a stretch.
So far, so good for this series. 3.5 stars.
Profile Image for Brittney Andrews (beabookworm).
135 reviews233 followers
February 28, 2018
TWO QUEENS, one blessed and one wicked. TWO POVS, one of the past and one of the present. TWO KINGDOMS, one fallen and the other a pit of hell. TWO SCRUMPTIOUS BOYS, one is a prince and one is a wolf. Are you in?

We live in a world where good kings die and those foolish enough to hope for something better are killed where they stand.

Mark my words, y'all: this series will go down in book history as one of the most epic YA fantasy series of all time.


Alrighty, let's start you off with the official synopsis. No, no, I am not being a lazy reviewer you muggles - I am actually doing you a favour. This book isn't meant to be thoroughly researched before diving in--even though that is a very logical thing to do--but you will thank me in the end if you take my advice. Here, I'll even copy and paste the synopsis below for your convenience, cuz I am such a good friend:

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.


Rielle Dardenne: A prophesied queen whose heart aches for her forbidden lover.

Crown Prince: His happiness comes at a high price. How much is he willing to pay?

Corien: A dark, mysterious angel. And guess what? You're going to read this book now. You know how I know this? Cuz imma force you to. Muaha.

A thousand years later...

Eliana Ferracora: AKA "Dread of Orline". She is a bounty hunter for an evil emperor and she kills rebellious citizens in order to financially support her family, mainly her brother.

The Wolf: A rebel captain that is *Damian's voice from Mean Girls* full of secrets.

"Dread," he murmured ... "is only a feeling, easily squashed. But wolves, my dear, bare teeth."

Valentine: Cuz every story needs a douche *cough* I mean bad guy.


There are a few other important details that I feel I should mention to you all. This is a racially and sexually diverse book -- woohoo! There are scenes of masturbation, sex, killing and the use of profanity. And one more thing, even though this is categorized as YA, I personally feel like this book leans more towards new adult.

As far as the writing style, it definitely had lyrical vibes at times. I was also never once confused by the dual POVs or the jumping back and forth from past to present. I think these factors are what made this such an amazing book because you get two stories in one! Reading the first installment to a fantasy series can be a bit daunting: lots of world-building, character introductions - lots of information that we have to absorb and process. However, Legrand did an exceptional job of juggling all of this for us readers.


A part of me hopes that Claire Legrand will George R.R. Martin the crap out of this series because I want more than just three books! I know what you're thinking, "EEEK, Brittney. Georgieee boy's series has taken over 10 years to complete, that would be painful for us readers." Well, this is true. But I honestly think this series will be even more memorable and more enthralling if she "drags" it out if yah know what I mean. Also, how cool would it be to read this as YA, grow with these characters, and flow into an adult fantasy series. Epic, right? You know I'm right.

Overall, this is a book that I will never forget. One that I will take to my grave when the time comes. One that I will tuck into bed and kiss goodnight. It is also one that I will thank the Book Lord for bestowing upon us every day.

Thanks a million to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an e-ARC. Quotes are subject to change upon publication.

PS. This book comes out on May 22, 2018 - ON MY BIRTHDAY. AND GUESS WHAT! This book is totes going to be my birthday present to myself.
Profile Image for Trina (Between Chapters).
858 reviews3,759 followers
October 11, 2018
You know those books that make you reconsider all your recent 4 and 5 star ratings? THIS IS THAT BOOK. I *thought* I was loving some other fantasy series I've been reading recently, but this filled a hole I didn't even know I had in my life.

There are a couple of things I wish had been fleshed out more but as this is just the first in a series I am sure more of that is coming in future installments.
Profile Image for N..
152 reviews314 followers
Want to read
May 25, 2018


Profile Image for Fafa's Book Corner.
512 reviews298 followers
March 21, 2018
Mini review:

I received this E-Arc via Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My ‘Wish’ was granted.


I was highly anticipating this book! A friend of mine had given it a positive review and it sounded so good! Unfortunately it wasn’t good.

The prologue was fantastic! There was murder and general excitement. While yes pretty much everything was spoiled I didn’t mind it. It gave me a reason to continue. It went downhill from there.

Both women annoyed me. I felt that the point of view shifts weren’t really done that well. It came to a point where I was just skimming to see what would happen next. That only lasted so lasted for awhile, then I just lost interest. Eliana read just like Aelin from Throne of Glass.

I only liked Remy, Eliana’s mother, and Harkan. While Rielle was more bearable to read about, she also became boring.

Overall this was an utter disappointment. I do not recommend.
Profile Image for danerys.
451 reviews220 followers
February 24, 2022
l 53% l

i should write this review now or i probably never will. although i really don’t know what to say because i have a lot of different thoughts and i don’t know where to start.

i am also forgetting this book rather quickly.

i don’t think that this book was necessarily for me, and while i enjoyed some parts, some aspects of the book annoyed me and overall it had no lasting impact on me whatsoever. having said that, i can 100% see how people adore this book. (i can also see why people hate it, but i will get to that later.) i think that if fantasy is your shit and you love some morally gray badass women and you don’t mind multiple perspectives or time changes, then this book is for you. as for me, this book has made me come to realize that fantasy is…not my shit. which makes me sad because some of the books that got me into reading and one of my comfort series is fantasy (acotar don’t judge me), and i wish i liked fantasy more so that i could appreciate it more if that makes sense, but ive come to realize that i would much rather read an intense, heartbreaking historical or contemporary novel than an action-packed fantasy book that confuses me.
(watch me say that and then i go read ten fantasy books in a row.)

mostly this book was eh to me because i just didn’t care very much and i wasn’t super invested overall, but on the other hand i enjoyed reading most of it and i wasn’t just waiting for it to be over.

however, i can totally see how people hate this book.
for one,it can be confusing at times and it jumps back and fourth between a thousand years so obviously that could be really annoying.
two, the characters are not always likable and not even in the cool morally gray sense (though oftentimes they were), but in the sense where i just wanted to punch them and i didn’t care if their asses died in a fire.
three, the world building was not so great and neither was the development of the magic system. we got a map, some names of places, some elements, something called the “emperium” that is never explained, and that’s about it.
four, there is barely any reason to care about this book. i don’t know what it is, but this books makes it very hard for itself to have an investment-worthy plot or characters. or anything, really. it is supposed to be “gripping” and high-stress but instead it is low-stress because i’m not emotionally attached.

the plot:

this follows a girl named eliana and a girl named rielle, who lived 1000 years before her. there’s a prophecy of something that says there will be a bLoOd qUEeN and a sUn qUeEN so i bet you can’t guess that those are supposed to be eliana and rielle. we know from the beginning who the sun queen is and who the blood queen is, because we get a little prologue thingy, but for most of the story they act like we don’t already know and try to make it seem mYstERiOuS or maybe just because the characters aren’t supposed to know, i’m not really sure. i, for one, think it’s a waste of time to have that trope where the reader knows something the characters don’t, because then literally what is the point. i’m reading about this even though i already know the bIG tHiNG and for what. however, even with that, i was excited to see how one of the characters started off thinking they were the sun queen and slowly become the blood queen and i just wanted to see how and why everything went down the way it did. i thought i was going to get that at the end, have a nice haunting full-circle moment, but instead i got some rebellion good-guys bullshit. and i was really disappointed, because villain origin stories are my shit.

the plot of the book is definitely questionable, i liked the premise and how things from past and present were woven together, but most of the ‘present’ stories from the main characters that didn’t have anything to do with the bigger picture felt tedious, confusing at times, and ultimately unnecessary. it felt like a cheap way to insert more ‘action’ into the story so that i would keep reading.

i am aware i am making it sound rn like i hated this book but i honestly didn’t i am just extremely tired and probably should not be writing this review right now so i’m feeling salty apparently.


the characters:

rielle: i honestly don’t know. i feel like i should have something to say because rielle was literally one of the main characters in the book but i have nothing to say about her because i feel as if i barely know her at all. she’s pretty serious and does some nice badass shit and of course she has trouble cOnTrOlLiNg heR pOwERs but other than that she doesn’t really seem to have a personality. she seems like a regular person. idk. it feels almost refreshing to have a female character in a fantasy book that is just like a regular person because eventually you get sick of that thing where apparently every single female mc has to be sNarKY to be a part of a feminist fantasy. so in that way, i liked rielle, but she was also just boring and nothing made me attached to her as a character. she is kind of like one of those characters where you can insert yourself where she is because she doesn’t have any actual characteristics except for the situations she is in, and she is made sympathetic enough by making some okay decisions and being badass in some battle scenes.

eliana: eliana had a bit more personality than rielle, but with that comes….her being really fucking annoying and making the stupidest fucking decisions. i liked her a lot in the beginning and then she just made the same exact mistake over and over again and got like 200 people killed and then felt gUiLTy but then did the exact same shit again. she did that about every 20 pages and i couldn’t stand it. when she wasn’t doing that (in the beginning mostly,) i appreciated her as a character and how she was morally gray and did what she had to do to survive. i theoretically like eliana but there were some things about her that really pissed me off.

audric and simon: they are the same person to me. no i don’t care

corien: damnnnn ok who gave this man permission to be this damn fine 😩✋
because i swear i loved this morally gray smart ass bitch who literally tricked everyone and took an entire kingdom for himself. i can’t not love a character like that, who plays his game so well & ends up at the top of the world. (i don’t even know if he was a well developed character don’t even ask me that, high cheekbones dark hair full lips fjdjahdkdjdjd)

a note: while i am simping for corien i will also say that although i complained a little about eliana and rielle objectively as characters in a story, would i trip over my feet for these women if i somehow happened to be transported into this fantasy world and they were there as hot motherfucking queens? yes. yes i would. 😌

the writing:

one of the things that saved this book for me was that i overall think that it was written with a high quality and had many aspects that i thought were written well. i didn’t think there were any overly cheesy quotes or things that were over-the-top, i thought that the quality in which this book was written was definitely one of the more positive aspects of the book as a whole. i liked the feminist undertones and the interesting ways the book brought up issues of how far to go to survive and save yourself, and how selfish to be, etc. i thought that those elements were woven nicely into the fantasy and many of those are meant to be in a fantasy. the writing wasn’t exceptional by any means, but it brought more to the story than it took away.

things i would want if i were to read the rest of this series (which i probably won’t)

❥ a ludivine x rielle ship
❥ a eliana x navi ship
❥ a corien backstory
❥ a story of how rielle killed audric & a rielle villain origin story
❥ an explanation of the magic system (in terms that i can understand
❥ character depth and development for everyone

disclaimer: i am tired and can’t read words on my phone so this review is shit and i cannot keep my eyes open and the last thing i want to be doing right now is writing a review but here. i. am. so if this review seems slightly ~unhinged~ that is why.

thank you to RoRo for buddy reading this book with me! :)

3 stars


✔︎ bi mc
✔︎ bi mc
Profile Image for Paige ♠.
284 reviews852 followers
May 14, 2021
I went in with really high expectations for this and was overall pretty disappointed.

I GOT READING WHIPLASH from reading this book. The chapters were so short - a major event/conflict would happen every 5 pages and then the POV would immediately change. This made it so hard for me to care and feel invested in either character/storyline because anytime something interesting happened we were jerked back to the other POV

FELT LIKE I WAS READING TWO BOOKS at once, with two different sets of characters and two different storylines that weren't really related. This would have been more tolerable if the chapters weren't so damn short

🆗 BOTH STORYLINES WERE INTERESTING on their own and I would have loved to read about these characters and these stories in two different books, but it didn't work as a single book for me

I'm not sure if I'll be continuing with the rest of the series because it seems the author introduces even more POV's and I think I'll dislike it even more
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