Ｒａｔｉｎｇ：★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
＊Ｎｏｔｅ：I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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.
✩ Rielle was very passionate and headstrong. She was perceptive and I really enjoyed her storyline.
✩ Eliana was caring and loyal to her family and the few people she considered friends. She tried very hard to come off as unfazed by things around her.
✩ Ludivine was a great friend. She was understanding and supportive and just great all around.
❝ “We all have darkness inside us, Rielle,” he said, his voice rough. “That is what it means to be human.” ❞
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own!
I didn’t know too much going into Furyborn. I thought the cover was gorgeous and I had heard mention of the book from the book community. So it was a pleasant surprise when I read the synopsis and realized that this fantasy had some similar elements to another series I’m a huge fan of (e.g. Throne of Glass). I was definitely pulled in by the promise of a female assassin/bounty hunter. I also liked that we had fantasy elements being hinted at with Rielle’s story. And although I had fun reading this book I also had some issues with it.
Furyborn is told from two points of view (Rielle and Eliana) which are a thousand years apart. This was something I both liked and disliked for a couple reasons. When you first jump into the book you enter an intriguing fantasy world where people are able to manipulate one of seven elements. You have Rielle who is helplessly in love with someone who can’t be hers and is hiding a dangerous secret. It’s interesting, it pulls you in… and then you jump a thousand years forward to Eliana’s point of view where magic no longer exists and everyone is simply trying to survive the Emperor’s conquest. It’s a little jarring.
It also left me with so many questions and in a way that was good because it drove me to keep reading because I had to keep waiting to find out what happened with one character or the other, but it was also a little annoying. Most of the time I was more interested in finding out what happened to Rielle so Eliana’s chapters were kind of an obstacle to me in that way. Again, the format of the story had its pros and cons, but I can at least say that the story was never boring.
Between the two main characters, Rielle was my favorite. I loved her fierce spirit and loyalty to her friends. She was very perceptive of her words and actions would be interpreted, and could read other people well too. She was different from other women I think in that she had that passion and spirit that kept her from being docile. She was a strong character and I felt sympathetic to her situation. I was rooting for her the whole way through her trials and the one question that kept coming back to me was this: how did things go so wrong? You’ll find out what I’m talking about in chapter two, it’s not a very big spoiler but still, I’ll let you find out for yourselves.
❝ “People like us don’t fight for our own hope,” he said quietly. “We fight for everyone else’s.” ❞
Now, that isn’t to say that Eliana was a bad character. I just didn’t enjoy her storyline as much as the super fun fantasy, magic, life-or-death trials storyline of Rielle. It just felt like so much more was at stake for Rielle even though you kind of find out her fate at the beginning of the book. But anyway, back to Eliana. I thought Eliana was a little… annoying? She tried very hard to make herself come off as a bad person when really she wasn’t. She tried hard to be tough, ruthless, selfish, but then she showed her soft side when it came to her family.
There was one point where I did get really frustrated with her, and that was when she decided to betray some people to protect her family (surprise, surprise) but then later when the people she betrayed killed innocents to ensure the secrets she was giving away didn’t get out she was suddenly so against killing. It was really annoying because her betraying the group was going to lead to innocent people dying too, but only afterward did she care about it. I don’t know. It was just weird faulty logic and either way she caused so many more people to be hurt. I just hated her decision making there.
And finally, I’d like to touch on the plot and pacing. Mainly, about how the formatting impacted the story. I feel like at times, the story took a hit because of the alternating points of view. It made the progression of both Eliana and Rielle’s story feel like it dragged on (that’s not even acknowledging the fact that this was almost a 500-page book). I think it was an ambitious project to take on essentially two separate storylines in one book and it wasn’t perfect, but it was still good. I also loved the way that both storylines fit together. When you have that 1000 year gap it leaves you wondering how these two characters fit together and I think the way that it was explained was interesting and made me excited for the next book.
So overall, I think this was a book with a couple issues, but the story was still interesting enough to keep me invested in it. Hopefully, the next book will be even better!
Furyborn was released on May 22nd, go check it out!