I really wanted to like this series. I heard so many good things about it, and I thought the plot could be very good. After finishing Furyborn, I had my doubts but I was ultimately curious to see where the story would go. Kingsbane was hard for me to finish, and I found myself almost skimming the pages without really understanding what was going on (something I don’t usually do). I wouldn’t go so far as to say this was a bad book, but it didn’t cut it for me. My biggest issues with this story was plot holes and unnecessary characters; both of these issues lead to parts of the story I felt were forced.
Furyborn leaves off when we learn that Eliana is in fact Rielle’s daughter, and her and Simon accidentally launched themselves one thousand years in the future when she was born. Now she’s not invincible anymore. The entire first part of the book was her freaking out that she is the Sun Queen, denying it, and trying to save Navi… which definitely felt like filler to me. There better be more to Navi’s story in the third book, because I liked her… but it didn’t make sense to this storyline to have Eliana waste so much time on her. I could have had more on the Emperium and a deeper description into how it works with Eliana. Meanwhile, in Rielle’s world, Rielle is turning crazier and crazier as time goes on. I was interested to see her downfall, but it really just was that she was a bad person deep down. Nothing else to it.
I felt both Eliana and Rielle’s stories moved along too quickly, and there were dozens of new characters introduced in almost every chapter. It felt like somewhat of a revolving door of new characters, and suddenly they would keep showing up in the plot and confuse me (like that weird bit with Jessamyn… ???). What I also didn’t like was the weird chapters in the middle of the book, one from Ludivine, one from Corien, one from Navi, and one from Simon… I get it if we had Simon’s POV, since both books started out following him (tbh I could have had more of him throughout the book). But to randomly have Ludivine and Corien in the mix, and then immediately go back to alternating between Rielle and Eliana? I didn’t like it. Both of those snippets could have easily been told from our main queens’ POVs, and I thought they weren’t all that insightful. Along with more Simon, I wouldn’t have minded more of Corien’s perspective; he would have been able to add more depth to the dark side of the story and explain why he felt wronged by the humans. He worships Rielle with a passion, but it’s definitely not a healthy form of worship. I can’t tell if he’s misguided or if he really is just a bad guy… maybe it would make him that much more of a villain if we could see what he thinks. As it stands, I didn’t even dislike him like I disliked Rielle and Eliana.
Simon was a good character, but the tension between him and Eliana felt SO forced. Also, we got no further information on his background in this book. The first chapter shows him when he lands in the future without Eliana, and a faceless person is introduced to us as “The Prophet”. Then we get no new info for the rest of the book on this Prophet… where does he factor in? Is he Red Crown? Why did he beat the shit out of Simon when he was younger? We still really don’t know what happened to Simon… and I kept waiting for it to come up as the story went on. Because we get allllllll the way to the end, and BAM! Simon has betrayed us all and is in league with the Emperor Corien. What the actual shit? I can’t even say I didn’t see it coming and write it off as a good plot twist… I did not see it coming, but it wasn’t a good plot twist in my mind. Seriously, it makes no sense as to why he’d be working with Corien… we were given no clues to this throughout each book, and I really don’t know what his motives would be… if anyone out there does, please enlighten me because I didn’t get it. My theory is his whole betrayal was forced to make it more interesting between him and Eliana… just as she falls in love with him, he betrays her, blah blah blah. Or… maybe by going back in time for those frantic brief moments with Rielle altered Simon’s past… but why would it?
This book could have been executed much better in my mind, and I wish it wasn’t so forced. I’m still going to be reading the third book when it releases, but I won’t lie, it will take something out of me to do so. I understand YA usually isn’t as filled in as adult books… especially when it comes to fantasy books. So I’m really not trying to complain. I truly felt that this book was disappointing, or in my husband’s words, “weak sauce”. And that’s the tea.