Furyborn (The Empirium Trilogy #1)

By Claire Legrand

Genre: Fantasy

Publication Date: May 22, 2018

Bang Bang Review

If you plan on reading this book, I highly suggest you take notes because you ARE NOT going to remember anything when book 2 comes out.  You’ve been warned.

Furyborn is told in duo POVs. Rielle, the daughter of the king’s commander and Eliana a hired killer living 1000 years after Rielle.  (OMG, there’s so much story I don’t know where to begin).  Okay, let’s go back. The book begins with Rielle giving birth and in the room is her new husband Garver and his seven year old son Simon.  At one point, an angel named Corien comes and that’s all I’ll say.  Rielle’s story is then told two years prior to the birth of her child.  Legrand slowly reveals how Rielle came to be pregnant and married to this Garver guy, what Simon is, and the significance of Corien.

This world is in a constant war with angels and humans and a very important angel named Aryava foretold a prophesy that there will be two queens-Blood Queen and a Sun Queen.  One is bad, Blood Queen, and she will unleash the angels and destroy the world.  One is good, the Sun Queen, she will save all of mankind.  Both queens posses all the power but there are problems- some think Aryava was crazy, some think the prophesy can be interpreted a bunch of different ways, and lastly you won’t know if the queen is good or bad until it’s too late. Rielle possesses all the magic and the king needs to test if she’s good or bad. (Please see the spoiler edition for my theory).  Rielle’s portion of the story is about her going thru trials to see if she does indeed possess all the magic and if she is good or bad.

Eliana’s story is the journey of a girl who prides herself on her great killing skills all the while trying to ignore the fact that she captures innocent rebels to be hanged by her Lord. Meanwhile someone is snatching girls and women and Eliana wants to know who is doing this and why.  She’s strong but incredibly flawed and she makes some pretty shitty mistakes.

Can’t say too much because it’s all spoilery but Legrand creates a vast, interesting world of magic and rebels.  The pacing might be tough for some because the story starts the middle of the trilogy and you have to work your way backwards and forwards.  There are a lot of lands and people and angels and names and EVERYTHING is important to the plot-no fluff here.  There are no points where you can skip around. There are some wonderful complex characters.  There’s diversity and some beautiful female friendships. I’m always a little skeptical of overhyped books but Furyborn is worth the hype.  I didn’t rate it higher because there were a couple of questions that weren’t answered.

Full spoiler edition

Bang Bang Rating:bombbombbombbomb 1/2


Review of Crystal Storm


Crystal Storm (Falling Kingdoms #5)

By Morgan Rhodes

Genre: Fantasy

Expected Publication Date: December 13, 2016

Bang Bang Rating: bombbombbombbomb


If you read a lot of fantasy series books like I do, you know that the longer the series the more complex the plot can become and The Falling Kingdoms series doesn’t disappoint.  I have NEVER had to take as many notes as I had to take with Frozen Tides and Crystal Storm so let this be a warning to you-pretend you are back in your high school English class and do some active reading.  If you can find a recap of Frozen Tides, congrats cause you’re going to need it.  I took some notes and you are free to review them but they are a hot mess, good luck.

Crystal Storm picks up with Magnus and Cleo looking at Gaius’ corpse only he does not die-WHAT? Gaius claims he’s a changed man and Magnus and Cleo are forced to follow him to find Lucia.  One great thing about Crystal Storm is that we learn a lot more about Gauis’ backstory, why he’s the man he is, and his rationale for his treatment of Magnus.  While I don’t sympathize with him, I understand him.

All of the usual suspects have returned-Lucia, Jonas, Amara, Cleo, Nic and several new characters.  They are all split up and eventually find each other in the end.  Lucia has her prophesy to learn and new prophesies have to light, Magnus and Cleo’s relationship blossoms which I’m excited for because I love them, Amara is dead set on power, and everyone is obsessed with the Kindreds.

I can honestly say that this book is never boring and Rhodes does a good job of reminding the reader about important events from previous books without info dumping.  With that being said, it seemed like Rhodes had to add new characters and supernatural elements to prolong the series.  I think Falling Kingdoms was meant to be a trilogy and when it was announced it will be 6 or 7 books, it feels like Rhodes had to add new obstacles and it became a bit ridiculous. What do you mean there’s another prophesy? This character now has powers? Where did this new character and backstory come from? And it all starts with the first chapter and the resurrection of Gaius-GEEZ!  My other major beef is Lucia.  I have never liked her and I continue to believe she is the worst character I have ever read in my life.  I’m hoping Rhodes is not trying to make her sympathetic because she’s NOT. She threatens someone’s life in one breath and then can’t understand why they don’t like her.  She claims to be this strong witch but she’s totally blind at the manipulation of her father-COME ON, GIRL. HE’S USING YOU! If she dies, I will do a happy dance.

One thing I can say I really liked about this book is that the good stay good and the evil stay evil.  I hate it when you can’t trust any characters because they are all potentially double agents.  In this series, you know who the rebels are and you know who the villains are and this way, the reader can make theories along the way.

Although I found myself rolling my eyes during much of the middle, the ending was in true Rhodes form-a real nail biter.  I was questioning whether or not I was going to finish the series but with that cliffhanger, I have to.

Please click here for the spoiler edition.