Furyborn is an incredibly gripping novel, and it turned out to be better than I expected. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect from it, but right from the start it grabbed my attention. The story starts off from Simon’s perspective, and so much went down in the first chapter that instantly had me hooked. We don’t even know who these characters are yet, but the story is frantic as Queen Rielle gives birth to a baby girl and Simon and his father assist in her birth. Simon seemingly hates Queen Rielle for killing the king. His perspective doesn’t paint her in a very good light. Suddenly Rielle and Simon’s father freak out that he’s here, and whoever this he is gets inside Simon’s father’s head. Because he doesn’t want him to know about the baby or Simon, his father throws himself from the window and dies. Talk about brutal. Rielle thrusts the baby into Simon’s arms and tells him to go far away and seek asylum in another kingdom and protect the baby. She seems to know she’s about to die. The man shows up, and him and Rielle fight, and Simon (because he’s a marque?) can travel through space and time. He pictures the far away kingdom and he’s in the process of time traveling there, all while Rielle and this bad guy (who we learn is Corien) are fighting. Just as Simon’s about to leave, something goes wrong and the baby is ripped from his arms. And bam! That’s the end of that little snippet of information. The dramatic circumstances in this first chapter definitely had me racing to figure out how they came to be.
I think what kept this story so intense was how it switched from Rielle’s perspective to Eliana’s perspective (which happens to be one thousand years later). We know Rielle possesses powers from all seven elemental forms of magic, but she’s obviously kept this a secret. We also know Eliana is a famous bounty hunter/assassin who’s body magically heals itself every time she gets hurt. But what we don’t know is how these two girls are connected. From the beginning introduction, we know Rielle turns out to bring more harm than good to her kingdom… so it was interesting watching her POV knowing that some day she’s going to snap. Because she really isn’t a bad girl; she had just been kept in the dark about her own powers and was told she needed to stifle them in order to not bring harm to those she loves. I think ultimately this is what drives her to use her powers for evil, and this is how she goes down the dark path to becoming the Blood Queen.
While the descriptions in this book were good, I think I loved the mystery of Eliana and Rielle even more. The characters in this story didn’t quite do it for me, but this mystery and the plot kept me going. Eliana is a good person at heart, but she has simply found the best way for her and her family to survive by killing others. She’s fiercely protective of her brother Remy, and after her mother is taken, she does everything in her power to keep him safe as they try to find her mom. She meets Simon, who was also very intriguing… we know he’s the little boy who knew Rielle from one thousand years ago, but how did he end up in Eliana’s time?? I could have had more tension between him and Eliana, but the whole story was him just trying to keep her from harming everyone around them. Rielle was interesting too, because we got to watch her struggle with her power and we meet Corien… the seemingly bad guy from the first chapter. We learn he’s an escaped angel and he uses mindspeak to communicate with Rielle. To me, he seems dangerous… like he seems to worship Rielle’s every move, especially when she thinks of using her powers to harm others. He’s almost obsessed with her, and we don’t know why. While I thought her and Audric’s relationship was sweet, it really wasn’t my favorite. He is almost too supportive of her in my mind, and I could see how this ultimately fills her head and makes her think she’s better than everyone.
I had a sneaking suspicion towards the end of the story that Eliana was in fact Rielle’s daughter, and she definitely learns this the hard way. From my understanding, when Simon tried to travel to the other kingdom for safety, he was unable to perform it correctly and ended up launching both him and Eliana one thousand years into the future. I’m curious to learn more about their past and future together, as I think Simon is a very interesting character. I wished we learned more about him in this book. Another thing I didn’t see coming was the fact that Ludivine was an angel, or at least she had been inhabited by one for years without Rielle or Audric knowing. This was an interesting development in the story, and I can’t wait to see how this plays a role in Rielle’s destruction.
Overall, I really liked the dual perspectives of Rielle and Eliana. I’m really curious to see where they take the story of Rielle’s path towards failure and ultimately Eliana’s path towards balance. I have absolutely no clue on how she’s going to fight back against Corien. I started Kingsbane immediately, so stay tuned for my thoughts on the sequel!