Reading

Sweet Reads: Furyborn by Claire Legrand

Cover for Furyborn by Claire Legrand
Cover for Furyborn by Claire Legrand

Furyborn, by Claire Legrand, should be right up my alley. After all, I love a good fantasy novel, I love courtly intrigue, and I love strong women. I didn’t, however, love this book. I didn’t hate it, either.

The book shifts between the point-of-view of two women, a thousand years apart, and each firmly stuck in the middle of their own version of political and celestial intrigue. One is a noblewoman with extreme magical power kept cloistered and protected by her father after an accident killed her mother when she was a toddler. The other is an assassin who grew up poor, working for a tyrant she despises so that her family can survive. At first the switch between points of view is a little jarring, but you get used to it. The ladies, however, sometimes fall a bit too much into the tropes of Strong Women Characters, and I can’t call them particularly original or particularly memorable.

For the noblewoman, Rielle, within the first few pages my immediate reaction was “Someone watched too much Avatar.” Though magic is a normal part of her world, she is a “chosen one”, who can wield the powers of all of the elements. (Most people of magical talent can only use one elements.) It’s an incredibly familiar story. Rielle, however, comes with a heaping amount of baggage in the form of guilt over the childhood accident and resentment of her father’s near imprisonment of her as a result. She’s an interesting character but not a particularly likable one, especially given what we see of her future in the prologue.

The more interesting of the two women is Eliana, the assassin, one thousand years into the future in a world where no one believes in magic anymore, a woman with seeming superhuman abilities, an immortal assassin. She wears a mantle of sociopathy, locking away her ability to feel just to do her job. But she’s no more original than Rielle, and sometimes it feels as if I am re-reading stories I have read before (or playing games I have played before), especially during the chapters devoted to Eliana.

The villains of the piece are Angels, godlike beings that can enter and control the minds of humans. Here are the true sociopaths, manipulating the very people they claim to love, and here also is where the author does shine. Her angels are truly terrifying and seem (at first, at least) impossible to defeat, as if the only way to fight is to destroy yourself before they can destroy you. They were intriguing and truly alien in thought and behavior, as such a non-human being would have to be.

Overall, my opinion of the book is a resounding “It Was Okay.” It did keep me reading, and did enjoy what I read, but I am not interested enough to continue with the series as it moves forward. I do think that there are those out there who will love it, though, and there is a lot of potential here.

My rating: 3.5 of 5 cups 3.5 of 5 Coffee Cups

Disclaimer: I received this book for free as an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher. This has in no way impacted my review of this book.

Author: Meadhbh

Meadhbh lives on a farm in the back end of beyond with a horde of cats and one very large dog. When she is not writing or tending to the wishes of her feline overlords, she spends her time crafting, gaming, and reading. You can find her on Twitter @Meadhbh (mostly fangirling); on Instagram: @meadhbh_d (mostly cats); on Facebook: www.facebook.com/MeadhbhDhommnail (mostly writing memes); and on the web at large at www.meadhbh.me (mostly everything else).