4.3 out of 5 Stars
This book has been flying across so many platforms that I had to see what all the fuss was about. I am really glad that I did too because it was so so so much fun to read. What I really appreciated about this book was that while it was really enjoyable to read, the story is still complex enough that I had to pay attention to it. It sucked me in and I read it in a single day. I'm not going to lie, I was slightly confused as to what was happening at first because I didn't read any synopses or covers or reviews or anything. I went in completely cold turkey. It still worked though after awhile, which I think is a real credit to Claire Legrand for being able to write in that style successfully.
For those of you who do want to have an idea of what is going on before you read, Furyborn is an angel book. Yes, I am classifying it in that category that (in my opinion) has sort of fallen off track since the Hush, Hush and Fallen phase of YA lit. Please note, I'm not counting Cassandra Clare's books in that because they are in a league of their own. But I haven't read any really strong angel books in awhile, and that is definitely a key point to this series. Rielle and Eliana each have their own specific plot-lines, broken up with alternating chapters. As the book moves along, they each learn in their own time their own power and potential with the empirium, the magical source that flows through their world. Even though they are in different times, their plights are similar and they both have a role to play in a larger story of war and threats.
PLOT: Initially, I was really thrown off from the alternating chapters. I couldn't really tell what was going on and the 1000 year gap between them made me think that I was missing something. In reality, it was actually pretty clever to have that large gap because Simon messed up when he was a kid. It's all clear by the end of the book and I really appreciate that now.
Of the two different plots, I was definitely more interested in Eliana's. Rielle's wasn't bad, it just wasn't as engaging as the other one. I think they were both very necessary and in terms of pacing, they each moved at the speed that they needed. Also, that prologue sets them both off perfectly, from content to title. I'm curious to see where each plot goes, especially since there is a limited amount of time to work with in Rielle's story. We got the "two years earlier" notification and the trials took months to complete, so there's only what, a year and a half, for her to get pregnant and have Eliana? I suppose she could already be pregnant, but we'll see what happens with that because she isn't the queen yet. She's been named the Sun Queen, but not the Queen queen and I think she will be. Still looking forward, I don't know if I want the alternating chapters to remain. They were disorienting and often I had to stop to remind myself where the characters had been left off from their last chapter. It was just slightly distracting, so I hope each character gets larger chunks of page time at a time.
Rielle: Clearly, Rielle is not the Sun Queen. I can't say I don't like her though for being the Blood Queen because I think she's a good character. A bit messed up from her childhood and devious in terms of being enticed by the empirium, but at her heart, I think she has good intentions. It does make me nervous though that she has such a close relationship to Corien, which I'll get into him later, but I hope she becomes more independent in the next book.
Eliana: She really reminds me of Celaena from Throne of Glass. And I do mean Celeana for those who have read that series. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but there is a level of selfishness that I find annoying and that I think frankly makes her stupid at times. I love that she takes action though and will stand her ground when challenged. I wish though that her relationship with Simon had been developed better. It seemed like it went from distrust one second to wanting to hook up the next without absolutely no transition in between.
Audric: I feel like he's probably the most innocent of all the characters. Yes, he knows the least, but he also I feel like has the least volatile reactions to things. I don't see him as a fighter, even though he supposedly has been trained and is super powerful. If we can see some more of that in the future, I think it would help improve how I see Audric. Right now he's at like a puppy level of cuteness and I don't think that was the intention.
Simon: On the other hand, Simon is as cutthroat as he is initially described and we get to see that in action. He is honestly my favorite character with the exception that he went from "shut-up-and-listen-to-me" toward Eliana to a doe-eyed "you-say-I-do." That was not fun to read. I do ship them, but it was a forced ship. It didn't feel natural.
Corien: This dude gets the creep award. At first, I thought he was just a minor detail- more of a nuisance that would lead to a larger problem. But then he starts to get inappropriate with Rielle and it skeeved me out. Even though he's a creep, I think he is the best-written character out of them all. It's a slow reveal of his personality and his role in both plots and it works amazingly. So even though he is a creepy psycho, I think he is the strongest and most dynamic character.
Navi: She came out of absolutely nowhere, but I'm glad she did. There isn't too much that I want to say about her other than I'm really interested to see what she brings to the table with the involvement of her country.
Ludivine: I was not too surprised when she came back and was revealed to be an angel. There just wasn't enough grief from the other characters to really let that pain seem real. I also think she may end up becoming the wraith that Eliana meets in her chapters, changing her name from Ludivine to whatever it is that begins with an E (sorry I can't remember right now!).
WRITING: There was something about Legrand's writing that pulled me into the book right away. I can't put a finger on it, but I kept wanting more. The world that she created too has just layers upon layers to it without being overwhelming or drowning the reader. The only real downside to the writing of this book is I think the alternating chapters. It was jolting each time to switch from character and time to character and time. If there could be larger sections of the plot to each character, I think it would be a lot better and cohesive. And maybe this is just me, but I really want more of Eliana's story than Rielle's. I want to want more of Rielle's story, but that desire just isn't there right now
If you read the acknowledgments, you'll find that the conception of this story happened fourteen years ago. With that much time, it is no surprise that this book was this good. I really hope it also means that the next two books will be just as amazing and have even more twists and turns than this one. I cannot wait to see where this series goes and it is so great to have another series with angelic beings. I've missed them. Furyborn is also just a good book in general, so if angels are not your thing, you'll still probably really like it.
Thanks for reading!