Author: Claire Legrand
Genre: NA Fantasy
Series: Empirium #1
”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.Goodreads Synopsis
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.”
Perfection. Can I leave it at that? No..? Fine, I’ll point out a few things.
This book takes no prisoners. It is brutal and don’t do much of the pretty and fluffy side action to soften the blows. Which means that stuff like romance takes the backseat, action sits in the front while the larger plot is driving.
On the way there’s betrayal, death, torture, grotesque creatures, fighting mixed with just the right amount of sweetness in the form of compassion and friendship to make you care. And I love it all!
How Rielle and Eliana is connected to each other, with one thousand years separating them, is not really a secret to the reader. But it’s still extremely intriguing read how things came to pass and what will happen. Because even though one know that certain things happened, why and how is a mystery. And I for one could not put the book down.
Not going to get into details because everything I want to point out screams ”Spoiler Alert!”. But it’s one of the more detailed and exiting world buildings I’ve seen in a while. History, magic system, cultures and everything else is woven together perfectly. And it is fantastic.
Our main characters are two bad ass bitches! And I mean that in the most loving way. You will not find these two in some tower, waiting for someone to help them get down. One would blast the for open and the other would climb down the wall. And when they were out, the first would make her captor feel stupid for trying, and the other would simply cut her captors throat.
The supportive characters are really well written as well, and you can’t help but to feel for them just as much as the main characters. Especially Eliana’s little brother Remy. I just want to adopt him! The characters also have some really fantastic banter, which is always a huge plus.
But I have one complaint that are directed to most of the characters. And that is that they don’t bother talking about important stuff with each other! Many complications could be avoided if one or two people just opened their mouth. But them not talking made many things I liked about the book possible, so I can’t complain too hard.
Shifting a story back and forth between characters and time can often damage the pacing and flow of a story, but Claire Legrand has mastered this art. I never got annoyed with pausing one part of either tale for the other, and the jumps never felt jarring or even the tiniest bit annoying. Both character-arcs were equally well written, intriguing, exciting and detailed.
I finished this book a while ago but have not done this review before now for one specific reason. I Love everything! I even now have a hard time to point out specific details to nuance this review. But it’s HARD! I could just have typed out ”Love it! READ IT NOW!!” 600 times over.
I’m also procrastinating to an extreme degree when it comes to start reading the next book in the series, Kingsbane. This is because there’s not yet any publication date to the third book and I rather look at Kingsbane on my shelves and think ”Soon my love.” than subject myself to the torture of not knowing when the still untitled third book will put me out of my misery.
5 stars because this book is everything!