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608 pages, Kindle Edition
First published May 21, 2019
Sadly I struggled with that story. As it gets many good reviews, I guess it’s a case of “it’s not you, it’s me” . I hope to help you decide if the book still could be your jam and will go with my likes and dislikes
Let’s begin with the positive:
“That she was . . . the foretold Sun Queen, the daughter of the Kingsbane and the Lightbringer. The Furyborn Child. She had many names, it seemed, and she had chosen none of them for herself.”
This has been a wild ride. I wasn’t sure what to expect about Kingsbane, but I can tell you that what I wasn’t expecting was that my feelings towards the characters would completely change. Although I liked both main characters in Furyborn, I had a clear preference for Rielle and her personal journey. So imagine my surprise when I found myself hating her while loving Eliana’s storyline and character development in this second instalment.
This book picks up a few weeks after the ending of Furyborn. The two queens of this story, Rielle and Eliana, keep fighting for their destinies thousand years apart. The Blood Queen and the Sun Queen, both prophesied by angel Aryava during the First Age. We follow one of them embracing the darkness in her way to become an antagonist, while the other one starts to embrace her destiny as the saviour of the world. And although Rielle and Eliana remain the main characters of the story, we have a few chapters told through the POV of some secondary characters like Ludivine, Corien, Simon or Audric, among others.
As I said at the beginning of this review, I hated Rielle in this book. I like a good antagonist, but Rielle’s journey through Kingsbane feels more like a tantrum of a spoiled little girl. She was a really interesting character in the first book, but I couldn’t understand her selfish decisions in this one. I also firmly believe that Audric and Ludivine deserve better than her. I really enjoyed the romance between Rielle and Audric in Furyborn, but now I can’t stand her innumerable lies to him and how she returns to Corien’s arms again and again.
“We are the light against the darkness, and we must continue to burn brightly, so others may find their way out.”
The interesting part about Rielle’s storyline is how she tries to find the seven hidden castings of the Sants in order to restore the Gate, although I think the execution of that subplot was too rushed. I also enjoyed the new capitals and kingdoms we discover through her POV: Styrdalleen (Borsvall’s capital), Iastra (the largest island of the Sunderlands), Genzhar (Kirvaya’s capital) and Quelbani (Mazabat’s capital).
The true jewel of this book for me is Eliana. I absolutely loved her character development, her struggles with her power and her dynamics with Remy, Zahra, Simon, Patrik, Navi and Jessamyn. We also get to see new places through her POV: Vintervok (Astavar’s capital) and some cities in Meridian (Karlaine and Festival). I also loved her relationship with Simon and I’ll be rooting for them until the very end.
And if something makes my sapphic heart infinitely happy about this trilogy is the fact that both main characters are unapologetically bisexual. We also get to see some queer relationships through the side characters, which I loved. Another aspect I utterly loved is how Kingsbane focuses a lot on consent and how healthy and toxic relationships are portrayed and compared.
Overall, I enjoyed this sequel. The plot was interesting and I loved Eliana’s storyline, but I couldn’t stand Rielle and the decisions she makes in this instalment. I need answers about certain character and I also need to confirm if my crazy theory about the Prophet’s identity is or not true. Besides, I’m looking forward to seeing how Claire Legrand keeps playing with the concept of time travel in the third and final book because that is one of my favourite elements of this trilogy.
“So frail, and so dear. Your lives blink in and out of this world like the lights of fireflies. And I will do what I can to see that you continue to.”
P.S.: I'm not English, so if you see any mistakes let me know so I can correct them, please.
The mind is fragile, and time is pitiless.