Author: Claire Legrand
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Series? Yes, 1 of 3
Book Depository | Dymocks | Booktopia
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from NewSouth Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
Furyborn is an ambitious fantasy following a prophecy about preordained queens and mythic reckoning over the course of thousands of years. On the one hand, we have Rielle, who must conquer deadly trials to prove she is the predestined Sun Queen. On the other, we have Eliana, a cynical assassin who only knows Rielle as a bloody and half-forgotten legend.
Sadly to say, the execution fell a little bit flat for me, I was only invested in one half of the narrative voices. As the book has dual point of views that are separated by millenia, it can at time feel disjointed. I had high expectations for this novel, especially given the explosive prologue. However, the rest of the book never quite manages to regain the exhilaration of its first chapter.
I did really enjoy Rielle’s point of view, and I felt connected to all of the characters around her. There is also the compelling dramatic irony running throughout, as we know from the first chapter that her story ends in tragedy. Learning the steps which led Rielle into becoming the reviled Blood Queen of prophecy is like putting together an intricate puzzle you don’t quite have the heart to complete.
Rielle’s character development throughout the novel was credible and engrossing, especially when the voice of Corien is thrown into the mix. The constant battle between her moral integrity and her darker impulses are even more exciting than her elemental trials.
Audric is also one of the sweetest love interest I’ve read about in YA, and remembering his eventual fate every time I see him on page causes me deep pain. One can easily see the groundwork for future disputes between him and Rielle, it almost feels inevitable – but you can’t help but wishing that maybe through reading, the ending may transform into something different.
The world building within this book is variable in quality. Once, there was a great battle between angels and saints, the saints who emerged victorious eventually went on to find all of the great nations within this world. Each saint commands a specific elements, and there are several humans who can do the same. However, the fated Blood Queen and Sun Queen of the legend, can control all the elements (*cue Avatar opening music*). Beyond the names of a few angels and saints, and seeing people handling the various elements, we don’t get an in-depth look at the fabric of this world – it seems to crumble upon further scrutiny.
I also had a hard time with Eliana’s chapters, I felt very detached from her – perhaps because she also kept an emotional distance between herself and other characters. The readers are constantly told about how she feels, rather than seeing it in action. The characters supporting her story were also less vivid than the ones in Rielle’s scenes. Overall, the only thoughts I ever had while reading her chapters were ones wishing they would end soon so that the limelight can be given back to Rielle.
While I had mixed feelings about Furyborn, I love Rielle and Audric more than enough to want the sequel. It’s going to be a long wait until next year!
Have you read Furyborn? Did you think it was worthy of the hype?
8 thoughts on “Book Review: Furyborn”
Gahhh I’ve been hearing such mixed reviews! Some even negative and now I’m not really interested in it anymore?? I mean… I might give it a shot if I come across it, but I’m not going out of my way to buy a copy.
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Yeah this one was definitely a bit underwhelming for me because I had 0 interest in half the book.
I do really enjoy a story told back to front. When done right, knowing where a story is heading doesn’t make the journey any less fun.
Omg that feeling of knowing how something works out but desperately hoping that there might be an as yet unseen escape route is the wooorst.
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I had a feeling that this would be a mixed review! Honestly I’ve been so hesitant about the hype surrounding Furyborn, and the fact that it looks like it’s 34425394 pages doesn’t help hahah.
But it’s nice that you’re at least looking forward to the sequel!
ugghh i’m really curious about this one, more about rielle tbh, but i’ve been hearing such mixed reviews! i’m really torn about this one.
I am seeing more and more mixed opinions on this one! I keep putting it off. Too many red flags in reviews for me. I feel like I am going to struggle with the narrative and world building. It is so hard to succeed once those fail. Great review!
Compelling review! I may check this out this summer! I’m currently reading Children of Blood and Bone but I’m feeling the need to consume high fantasies lately, so this one may be next! Thanks for sharing 🙂