Friday, May 25, 2018

ARC Review: Furyborn by Claire Legrande

Title: Furyborn
Series: Empirium #1
Written by: Claire Legrande
Published: May 22, 2018 by Sourcebook Fire

(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: 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, 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.

*** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. ***

Unfortunately, it's black sheep time. I was really looking forward to this book. It sounded totally amazing, and like a total me book. Dark queens, elemental magic, written by an author whose previous books I loved, and great reviews. So when I was approved on Netgalley I couldn't wait to read it. However, I just didn't like it as much as I had thought.

I think my biggest problem with this book was the pacing. I just struggled to get through it. Now this is now uncommon for me when it comes to e-galleys lately so I can't really blame the book too much for this but I still feel like I just didn't jive with the pacing and structure of this book. It weighs in at well over 500 pages which is a bit long for a YA fantasy, but not out of control long. However, this is a 500 page book that felt like a 700 page book. It just took me so long to get through. I mean I fell a sleep last night and still hadn't finished the book and I was only at 98% if that tells you anything.

But I think the reason I was unable to get through this book was the structure. This book is written in alternating perspectives, Rielle and Eliana. This in and of itself isn't too out of the ordinary for fantasies, I mean I've read some with like ten perspective. However in this case it really just made it hard to get into the book. It was incredibly jarring every time it would change perspectives. I know the author was trying engage me by ending with a twist or a cliffhanger but it completely backfired. When we ended one characters perspective I didn't want to go back the other one, and then by the time we went back I couldn't remember what had happened. Instead of making me read further to find out what happened, it made me not want to keep going because I had lost all interest. I liked each perspective and it added a lot to the book but I just wish we had more time with the characters before switching. I would have enjoyed it so much more if there were fewer longer chapter.

But one thing I did like was the characters. I am always a fan of morally gray characters, especially if they are females. I love tough women who do things you wouldn't expect, especially if they are queens or assassins. We had both in this book. We also had women who are vulnerable and loving, which makes me love them even more because it's a great contrast to the kickass moments. All this to say that I really like Rielle and Eliana. I think I liked Eliana a little bit more but they were both complex and likable. The secondary characters were also really great. We had surprisingly devious characters and surprisingly supportive characters. I do wish that some of the character twists were less obvious. I mean there was one that completely shocked me but for the most part when a big reveal occured my first thought was "yeah, I knew that, was that a surprise?" But you know me and my mystery solving abilities so you know, that's normal for me.

The other thing that I liked about this book was the world. I am kind of a sucker for elemental magic and this book did it really well. It didn't overwhelm the reader with knowledge and information about performing magic, which still showing us the power of magic. But what I really loved about this book was that you got to see magic in its prime and many years later where people thought magic was a myth. It was a cool contrast for a book. You don't often see both sides in the world of a book and I enjoyed that.

There was a lot to like in this book, I just think that it wasn't for me. Especially right now as I'm just coming back from a book slump. I can see why so many people loved it, I just think for me it wasn't a great time or not a great fit. I am interested to see what happens next in the series but I'll probably listen to the audiobook in future books because it's narrated by Fiona Hardingham who I LOVE, so you know the audio is good.

I give Furyborn by Claire Legrand 8 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Borrow. It's not a bad book, I just didn't love it as much as I had hoped that I would. Maybe it wads the hype, maybe it was just a case of bad timing, maybe it was just not for me. Either way, if you like YA Fantasy especially those wityh elemental magic, maybe grab this from the library.

Have you read Furyborn? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!e

1 comment:

  1. I had expected to just like Furyborn but I actually loved it. It reminded me of Nevernight by Jay Kristoff, which is another top fave of mine.