by Katie Moran
The first installment of Claire Legrand’s Emporium series, Furyborn, deals with a feud and prophecy. The dual point of view spans millennia, alternating between two powerful narrators, Rielle and Eliana, each of whom is fighting her own battle. The overall plot deals with the fine line between what is accepted and what is right. Legrand’s characters frequently must choose between sacrifice and conscience or the greater good and the easy path. These types of dynamics make each of their struggles, losses, and triumphs feel genuinely authentic to the reader.
Legrand’s artful storytelling allows each character to fully inhabit the world that they’re narrating to us. Time is the greatest barrier between the two strong story lines, and the use of time as a deviation for our main characters gives the necessary depth and clout to the overall progression of the novel. Legrand’s ability to craft a tale is portrayed in the way the author seamlessly layers Rielle and Eliana’s narratives, ensuring that each keeps pace with the other and allowing the necessary information from one to permeate and aid in our understanding of the other.
Although both of our protagonists, Eliana, the dread of Orline, and Rielle, the Sun Queen, have faults enough to match their endurance and heart, each woman has a strong sense of remorse. The underlying tone of accountability that results o really humanizes these larger than life characters. There are brief moments throughout when the voices of the two begin to sound minutely similar, but it would seem this was a conscious decision of Legrand’s given the relationship of the two despite the eons that stand between them.
Overall, Furyborn deals with the common yet never ending cosmic struggle between what is right and what is wrong. Legrand has done a wonderful job in creating characters able to carry the burden of such a common struggle while remaining intriguing and readable. Though there are fleeting mentions of some bisexual representation in the novel, there is little follow through on the matter. However, Furyborn is only the first installment, and there is still hope for more inclusive and well-rounded moments in the trilogy.