Furyborn by Claire Legrand is a new young adult fantasy novel on the block, jam-packed with conflict, emotion, adventure, and of course, magic. It is the first in the Empirium trilogy, and was released on May 22 of this year. It is a 512 page journey that follows two extraordinary women in two vastly different time periods, but whose lives are intertwined in incredible ways that ultimately define the fate of the world.
Legrand manages to build a world from her imagination with memorable characters, and the plot of the story is easy to follow. She uses amazing imagery to fully immerse readers, along with detailed descriptions of the emotions the characters feel. However, many elements will be familiar to readers of the fantasy young adult genre, such as potentially lethal challenges, main characters who have special powers, and, of course, love triangles galore—because that never gets old. Nearly every chapter is ended with a cliffhanger, which can get frustrating, and neither of the storylines are truly resolved at the end. Despite these shortcomings, the novel is definitely worth the read and hype it has received in the book community.
Furyborn begins with the tale of Rielle Dardenne, who in the process of trying to save her beloved best friend/secret crush Audric from assassins, reveals her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only two people who are meant to have this power are two prophesied queens, one of blood, who will destroy the world, and one of sun, who will save it from angels. It is through this prophecy that the two heroines of the story are connected.
A millennium after Rielle’s time, bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora is on a mission to figure out why women across the land are being abducted. She has a secret ability that allows her to heal herself whenever she is hurt, which is quite a convenient skill for someone whose job is killing people. It is revealed that Eliana is the other prophesied queen, but before even she herself realizes it, she must go on a journey in which she betrays everything she’s ever known to save her mother. The evil she believed the empire to encompass is nowhere near as ghastly as the truth she finds while exploring the kingdom with a group of rebels.
Every chapter alternates between Eliana’s point of view and Rielle’s, telling the story in a way that could easily get muddled and confused. Legrand exercises her writing abilities to enthrall the reader and weave the two women’s tales together nearly seamlessly.
This novel does echo some of the most popular YA novels of today, but it also has its own flair and heart-stopping twists. Readers will come to admire both main characters, as they are strong, independent women who make difficult choices throughout their lives. The premise of Furyborn is intriguing in itself, but the actual novel will leave you breathless and wondering what will happen next, even after reading the very last sentence.