Could it be? It is! It’s a YA fantasy that actually lives up to the hype! Wow! Ladies and gentleman, I would like to introduce you to Furyborn by Claire Legrand! And now I’d like to gush for the next few paragraphs!
Furyborn was one of those books that I had seen all over Instagram, and everyone was talking about it, so obviously I bought it. And then it sat on my shelf for months on end for 2 main reasons.
The first was that I was slightly intimidated by it. A lot intimidated by it. Furyborn ain’t no size zero, she be a THICC bitch! Not as thicc as Priory of the Orange Tree but at 494 pages she ain’t exactly a light bite! Furyborn is also the first in a series, and I was nervous about becoming invested in a book and then having to wait a lifetime for the sequel and I’ll have forgotten everything that happened!
The second reason I was nervous was – all the hype! Usually when a book gets hype it’s because of abundant marketing/publicity or because it’s genuinely good. Unfortunately it’s normally the marketing /publicity route that causes the dreaded over-hype, which turns pretty good books into disappointments, because people expect more than what the book can deliver because of too much hard and heavy hype.
So yeah, I was a bit nervy to pick this up. But Furyborn falls into the incredibly rare category of amazing books that actually live up to their hype!
Let me start at the beginning…which is actually the end…
We begin Furyborn with a prologue that actually takes place after the events of the book and make sure you sew your pants to your seat whilst reading because that prologue is fucking wild!
“We all have darkness inside us, Rielle,” he said, his voice rough. “That is what it means to be human.”
For those who don’t know, Furyborn has two timelines that span a 1000 year time difference and are kicked off in the prologue. In our timelines we follow two women, Rielle and Eliana, both are totally separate – I mean, 1000 years is a long time, and yet they are connected.
I’ll admit that the 1000 year difference was a little bit jarring at first, but I soon got into it. If you find yourself a bit overwhelmed in the beginning, stick with it – I promise you it’s worth it!
The only bad thing I can think of to say regarding the 1000 year difference is that the worlds seem to be near identical. The world building in Furyborn is amazing – the descriptions for nearly everything are incredibly cinematic, it’s like a movie in your head. But there seems to be no difference in the world over 1000 years of human life and progression.
I do find that really hard to believe – it’s kind of like trying to imagine that life today and 1000 years ago are the same…I’m no historian, but I sure as hell know that life today is totally different to how it was in the middle ages! Just sayin’…
But regardless, I love the connected yet separated storylines!
As I’ve previously said, the prologue of Furyborn shows the endgame of the story – how far I don’t know, this whole series? Half way through Kingsbane? Not sure, but it certainly happens after the plots of the first book as all of Rielle’s chapters happen before the scenes of the prologue.
Unfortunately this does make parts of the story a bit predictable. Because you know that Rielle is the ‘Blood Queen’ – calm down, that’s not a spoiler, it’s in the prologue – you know that she’ll pass/win all of the magic trials that she’s put through. But this is a necessary evil story-telling wise as we need the set up for later narratives.
“Some say the Queen was frightened in her last moments. But I like to think that she was angry.”
With that being said, despite knowing Rielle’s fate Furyborn is still an amazing read because we get to find out how Rielle becomes who she’s destined to become – it’s like an added bonus of a villain origin story! And we all know I’m trash for those!
I’ve mentioned Rielle a lot and that’s probably because I found her to be the more interesting ‘lead’ over Eliana. I mean, they are both kind of Mary-Sue characters. Let me set the scene for you:
Rielle has rare/stronger powers than anyone else ever and as
such is fated to become queen.
Eliana is a bad-ass, kick-ass assassin who is also unbelievably beautiful.
We’ve seen these two characters over and over again. BUT please don’t let these aspects of their characters drag you down! They are both well written and contain enough nuances to just about escape the ‘yet another trope’ death! To Claire Legrand’s credit they are both well-rounded and fleshed out characters.
In fact, most of the characters are extremely well written! I really enjoy morally ambiguous characters and I am spoilt for choice in Furyborn! Yay! We even have evil angels, which is a concept I really enjoy!
As this is a YA book, it means there’s some romance, because apparently it’s damn near impossible to have any YA book, regardless of sub-genre, without any romance. But, once again to Legrand’s credit, the romances in Furyborn weren’t a barf or eyeroll fest! Although I’m far more invested in Rielle’s romance than I am with Eliana’s. Eliana’s romance came on a bit too fast for me, and kinda hit out of nowhere. At least with Rielle’s romance there’s real longing, established feelings and even some potentially high stakes!
“She was night itself reborn on earth, a queen swathed in shadows.”
I do feel like now is the perfect time to mention that that Furyborn is more of a NA than a YA and that’s because some of these characters get it on! And no shame in that – at all, I’m super sex positive! I’m just saying that some of the scenes might be a tad too explicit for the younger band of YA readers. There’s also a bit of…I guess, cliché porn style scenes? It’s a bit uncomfortable to read at times, it’s all mist swirling and earth shaking. I know the girl is magical, but…I mean…yeah. I cringed a bit.
Speaking of the magical girl, I do feel like the magic system is a bit underdeveloped. I have a lot of questions about the magic system but I’m giving Furyborn the benefit of the doubt and imaging we’ll get a lot more in-depth explanation in Kingsbane because Furyborn had a lot to cover in one book and it did a great job.
I know it might sound like I’m dragging Furyborn through the mud, but I’m really not. This was a 5 star read but I did have a few minor points to mention because it’s not perfect (no book is). Also, if I’m saying this book lived up to the hype (it did) I want to mention the negatives to show that I actually have thought about my rating and review and still want to give Furyborn 5 stars!
Go check out other reviews and you’ll find that it can be a bit of a polarising read, but I found this to be an incredible book. I wasn’t expecting just how good this was! The writing was smart and lyrical and there is plenty of action that will keep the pages turning!
I’m not a fantasy reader, I dabble sure, but it’s not my genre. Furyborn has converted me. This has MASSIVE potential to become a legendary fantasy trilogy.
I can’t wait for Kingsbane! Especially as the events of Furyborn didn’t even get up to the prologue!
Also, as a final note – can we take a moment to appreciate how gorgeous the cover is?
“Perhaps if nothing else, what’s happened has taught you that there is more to life – and even to war – than simply staying alive.”
Will Furyborn live up to the hype for you? Find out here and get FREE worldwide delivery too!
[PLEASE NOTE]: I was not paid or sponsored to write this review – all the opinions are honest and my own.
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