Furyborn – Review

“We all have darkness inside us, Rielle,” he said, his voice brought. “That is what it means to be human.”

A prophecy states that two Queens will appear. One of light and one of blood. When Rielle uses her powers to save the the crown prince, she exposes that she has the ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. Only one of the Queens should be able to do that. In order to prove that she is of light, she will have to survive the seven trials, designed to prove both her magic and her worth. Or destroy her in the attempt.

A thousand years later, Queen Rielle is a legend, a fairy tale, the Blood Queen who brought ruin to the empire. Eliana doesn’t believe in myths, or legends, only that there is an evil force stealing women from the cities around her. When her mother is taken, she joins rebel forces fighting to eliminate the Emperor from power. Eliana doesn’t care about the politics of empires, only her mother. But as she gets closer to rescuing her mother, she finds that the evil responsible is far worse, and farther reaching than she ever imagined.

Two women, one thousand years apart, find themselves tangled in the web of conspiracies and prophecies. One will save the world. One will doom it. But which is which?

“Monsters do not weep for the dead,” Navi said, “and they do not regret.”

Do you love fierce women? Stabby women? Women who fight for who they are and what they want, regardless of what anyone thinks? Then you need Furyborn in your life. This book is epic fantasy at it’s best. But instead of sticking with the normal masculine heroes, LeGrand gives us kickass heroines. And I am here for it!!!

First, I want to fangirl at bit over Rielle and Ludivine. Ludivine is the best friend we all need. And it isn’t just because of how she handles her betrothal to Audric. It’s how amazing and supportive and awesome she is! If we all helped our friends like this, seriously, nothing could stop any of us. I find that it’s rare to showcase straight up girl friendships without competition, or weird frenemy tropes, or the typical cattiness that so often exists. And every single scene I found myself crushing on Ludivine and her supportiveness more and more. I love her!

Beyond kickass girl friendships, there is a lot to scream about in this book. I am always a fan of characters that take typical good/bad definitions and flip them on their head. Here, we are given a prophecy. Two Queens will emerge, one good, one bad. And LeGrand tells us who is the Blood Queen in the prologue. So we read all of Rielle’s chapters with a subsequent bias. But really, when you look at which one behaves more typically in the spectrum of good versus bad, Rielle for sure is trying to be good.

I spent the entire novel waiting for that moment when she takes the evil Blood Queen road. And I am so happy that LeGrand doesn’t give it to us! Because, honestly, it makes this journey so damn delicious it hurts. Is she using our assumptions against us? Or, is she really taking us down the path of understanding where villainy comes from? Either way, I am 1000% in this journey and cannot wait for the next installment.

“His eyes caught the moonlight and made him look like something from one of Remy’s more fanciful tales — a night creature, made of secrets and sharp edges. An Empire monster for the Sun Queen to slay.”

Setting the two storylines a century apart is also such a brilliant twist in this story. It makes the prophecy even tougher to interpret. Is the doom they are living because of Rielle’s actions. Or is something else at play?

Eliana and Simon are the other half of this novel, and their role is trickier to piece together. Again, LeGrand sort of leads us down the road to assumptions with these two. And while I have some theories, it would not surprise me at all if they all end up being torn apart in the next books. Are we being led to believe Eliana is good, even though her actions are suspect? Or is the prophecy more misleading than we think? Either way, I love the twisty path we’re on!

Furyborn proves that feminism and fantasy go hand in hand. Epically. Completely. Entirely. We can have strong women, who don’t fit into clearly defined roles of good or bad. They can be complicated and multi-faceted, in both love and war. These women are fierce, no matter what way they go about fighting for the things they want. Or believe in. Just like in real life.

 

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