“The world will fall. Two queens will rise.” These are the chilling words written on the cover of Furyborn. The first of the Empirium trilogy, written by Claire Legrand, this intense book will take your breath away. The words on the back cover perfectly sum it all up. “Two young women, living centuries apart, have the power to either save the world — or doom it.” Rielle, from the past, and Elaina, 1,020 years in the future. The two queens. Each shaping her own world. And separated by the impossible gap of a thousand years. Or are they really?
This novel, set in the medieval age, stretches the limit of dual character connections with a narrative that switches perspectives between these two characters. It is impressive how the character developments are separate yet somehow linked in subtle ways. So as the book progresses, more connections are revealed between the characters. And the story ramps up, ending with surprising, climatic cliffhangers, which will lead you to crave more.
A thing that I loved about this book is that romance is a huge part of the story, influencing each character, especially Rielle. There is an awkward love triangle between her, the prince of the Kingdom of Celedria, Audric, and the luring presence of the angel Corien, who Rielle doesn’t want to be, but is hopelessly attracted to. Audric and Corien are the two forces who determine which side Rielle is on, which future to believe in.
For Elaina, her path is not determined by allegiances of love, but rather her own moral compass. As her perception of the world quickly changes as the story moves on, she finds herself struggling to choose between working for the empire she has served her entire life, or switching over to the resistance group, the Red Crown. As she struggles to decide, switching sides again and again, both sides bear the consequences of her actions.
All in all, Furyborn is a book that older readers should enjoy, with the romantic moments making it a little unsuitable for younger readers. However, if you are up for it, you should definitely read it. It is a must read for ages 10 and above. If you like fantasy or realistic fiction, this is the book for you. I know it sounds weird putting both genres together, but its plot and descriptions are undeniably versatile. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and read it!
Furyborn by Claire Legrand. Sourcebooks fire, 2019. Buy the book here and help support Stone Soup in the process!