Furyborn (Empirium #1) by Claire Legrand – ★★★★

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Okay, where to start (rubs hands together gleefully)… The story is told by switching from two points of view. We have Rielle, the daughter of the Lord Commander Dardenne, who has grown up in the palace of Celdaria with Audric, the prince, and his cousin and betrothed, Ludivine. They are the best of friends until Rielle’s powers are uncovered during a horse race and she is forced to undergo trials to become the Sun Queen.

A thousand years apart: Eliana is a bounty hunter who works for the Emperor. She saves her money in the hopes of one day running away with her mother, brother, and lover. She has her own abilities which she tries to keep hidden and ends up being tangled in a mission with a rebel named Simon and a princess named Navi from the last free country, Astavar.

A lot of the chapters end on a sort of cliffhanger (which is a pretty common writing method), but once you get into the rhythm of the chapters switching, the story flows nicely. It is a long book, but there is plenty of action and surprises.

Both main characters are ambiguous and morally gray. Sometimes they do heroic things and sometimes they are selfish and unlikable. But I liked them both a lot! They are both loyal to their loved ones, but make mistakes. I loved the friendships between Rielle and Ludivine and Audric, and then Eliana and Navi.

Eliana’s brother, Remy, is just the best!

“Oh, sweet one. You are a dreamer, a teller of tales. I see that now. You ache for magic, and for all those golden giants of the past.”

I never thought I could love a wraith so much either! Zahra for the win!

There is just so many things to like about this book. It is perhaps a bit too long and sometimes the pacing requires a bit of extra effort on the reader, but I found it to be quite worth the journey! I can’t wait to see what happens next.

This is fantasy with castles and swords and Kings and Magisters. People have abilities to control the elements and shadows, there is an awesome magical creature, there are angels! I would say this is for ages 17 and up due to sexual content and violence. There are many dark elements and some possible triggers. But, I highly recommend, personally!

Thank you very much to Edelweiss and publisher for providing a digital copy to read and review!

Goodreads review

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