Audiobook Review: Furyborn (Empirium #1)

Published April 15, 2018

Author: Claire Legrand

Narrator: Fiona Hardingham

Audiobook Length: 17 hours 24 minutes

When assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven elemental magic trials. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.

One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire’s heart is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world–and of each other.

Furyborn (#1)
Kingsbane (#2)
Lightbringer (#3)

Furyborn is the first novel in the Empirium trilogy. There are two main characters in this story. The first is Rielle Dardenne, a girl who has been forced to hide her true identity who is forced to complete seven magical trials or be executed.  Eliana Ferracora lives a thousand years later and is a bounty hunter that works for the Empire who joins the rebel captain to discover the secret behind her mother’s disappearance. Their story opens with an engaging prologue that made me want to continue. While it was captivating, there were a few moments that I wish were left hidden until later. This was an interesting conundrum as on one hand, I loved that story pulled me right away and on the other, some of the elements given later in the story did not have the same impact as they were either already explicitly or hinted at in the prologue.

While they are not the same story, there is a similar vibe between this one and Throne of Glass. The story is very sex forward where there are a lot of instances throughout the story. I’m on the fence if I would call it sex positive or not, but it was definitely included a lot. There is some romance brewing between Rielle and the prince, Audric, and there is romantic tension with her and the angel, Corien. There is Simon, who helps tie the two timelines together and Remy, Eliana’s little brother, who are both intriguing characters. There is some nice character development in this story, but there is a lot of potential for more in the rest of the series.

As the two stories take place a thousand years apart, it is difficult at first to distinguish that this is the case. Aside from the story telling you that the timelines are different, the two read in a similar manner. With the dual POV, the story jumps between the timelines and it can be a little jarring at times. The transitions jump between each character, so it can be difficult to immerse yourself in each story as you begin to get caught up in one story and then it switches to the other. Since this is the first novel in the trilogy, there is a lot of room where the author can expand on every element from the characters to the plotlines. Overall, this one fizzled a little at the end compared to the beginning, but there is enough potential there where I want to continue the series and see where it goes.

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