*First Line Friday 6/5/20* Lightbringer (Empirium #3)- Claire Legrand

36253143. sy475 The incredible conclusion to the trilogy that started with the instant New York Times bestsellers Furyborn and Kingsbane!

In this epic finale to the Empirium Trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Claire Legrand, two queens, separated by a thousand years must face their ultimate destinies.

Queen Rielle, pushed away from everything she loves, turns to Corien and his promises of glory. Meanwhile, whispers from the empirium slowly drive her mad, urging her to open the Gate. Separated from Audric and Ludivine, she embraces the role of Blood Queen and her place by Corien’s side, determined to become the monster the world believes her to be.

In the future, Eliana arrives in the Empire’s capital as a broken shell of herself. Betrayed and abandoned, she fights to keep her power at bay—and away from Corien, who will stop at nothing to travel back in time to Rielle, even if that means destroying her daughter.

But when the mysterious Prophet reveals themselves at last, everything changes, giving Rielle and Eliana a second chance for salvation—or the destruction their world has been dreading.

Praise for Furyborn:
A BuzzFeed Most Anticipated Title of Spring 2018
A Goodreads Most Anticipated Title of Spring 2018
A Bustle Most Anticipated Title of Spring 2018
“A must-read.” —Refinery29
“A series to watch.” —Paste magazine
“Visionary.” —Bustle magazine
“One of the biggest new YA fantasies.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Empowering.” —BuzzFeed

IMG_2250

“A Beast and a Liar

Simon crouched near the ice-frosted rock, knife in hand, lips chapped with cold, feet scabbed and callused in his worn boots, and watched with hungry eyes as the hare approached.”

stacy

*ARC Review* Kingsbane by Claire Legrand

Title: Kingsbane (Empirium #2)Kingsbane

Author: Claire Legrand

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Release Date: May 21, 2019

Page Count: 608 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Summary:

In this sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller Furyborn, two queens, separated by a thousand years, connected by secrets and lies, must continue their fight amid deadly plots and unthinkable betrayals that will test their strength—and their hearts.

Rielle Dardenne has been anointed Sun Queen, but her trials are far from over. The Gate keeping the angels at bay is falling. To repair it, Rielle must collect the seven hidden castings of the saints. Meanwhile, to help her prince and love Audric protect Celdaria, Rielle must spy on the angel Corien—but his promises of freedom and power may prove too tempting to resist.

Centuries later, Eliana Ferracora grapples with her new reality: She is the Sun Queen, humanity’s long-awaited savior. But fear of corruption—fear of becoming another Rielle—keeps Eliana’s power dangerous and unpredictable. Hunted by all, racing against time to save her dying friend Navi, Eliana must decide how to wear a crown she never wanted—by embracing her mother’s power, or rejecting it forever.

IMG_2250

sword 1

Beware! If you have not read Furyborn, please do not read this review, as it contains spoilers. If you would like to read my review of Furyborn, click here.Thank you to the publisher for the review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Holy cow, what a ride! I thought Furborn was amazing, but Kingsbane was outstanding and emotional and beautiful. Kingsbane left me emotionally drained for days; even now just reflecting on how much happened in that book brings back all the emotions.

Sometimes sequels don’t live up to expectations or the hype of the first book. Kingsbane outshines Furyborn and brings to the table a continuation of the epic fantasy world Claire has created. The writing, the characters, the world…everything is so well done and breathtaking. Kingsbane is easily one of the best sequels I have read in the YA fantasy genre.

Claire Legrand has proven to be a phenomenal fantasy writer. She weaves words together to create a captivating and poetic world that any reader can get lost in. Two worlds fitted across time make for a magical story and epic world building, which Claire succeeds at creating. The world in Furyborn and Kingsbane is vast, but Claire’s writing and descriptions bring the world to life and help to not make the world feel so big. She’s truly a talented fantasy writer and I cannot wait to see what she does with the third book.

“She had felt in that moment, that she was a mere vessel. A conduit between the power in her blood and the flames overhead, licking for a taste. Would there ever come a time when she could use her power and not feel as if it was using her?”

Rielle continues to be the butt-kicking hero we all want, but as we learned in Furyborn, she’s not destined to be the hero, but the villain. But even throughout this book, as her mind and her journey start to take a darker turn, she still remains the powerful girl we all loved in Furyborn. However, like all great heroes, temptation can easily sway a hero to do things one normally would not do. And that starts to be the case for Rielle, even as she fights Corien and even as she tries to prevent the world (and her closest friends) from seeing what she is truly becoming. She doesn’t want Audric to see her differently, but how can Rielle prevent that when darkness starts to tempt her?

Eliana, on the other hand, does not want to become what she is destined to be: the Sun Queen. She would rather neglect her powers and her future, fearing the possibility of her becoming just like her mother, Rielle. She struggles coming to terms with her new life and what she represents to the people. She struggles with how her life has drastically changed and how there is no going back. The only path is forward and watching Eliana’s character development throughout Kingsbane reminds me how we all have journeys and how, eventually, we all have to find out who we are meant to be. So, overall, both of these girls’ characterizations in Kingsbane is phenomenal and well written.

Don’t go into this book underestimating these two girls: they are powerful and inspiring and fierce. Though they struggle with defeat and living up to their purpose, they both prove that they have what it takes to handle any battle, any hardship that is thrown their way. And just seeing these two characters go through so much (good and bad and evil) reminds me just how fragile, yet strong they really are and that both are still human.

Kingsbane is an outstanding sequel to Furyborn and, in my opinion, some of Claire’s best work. I honestly cannot wait for book 3. I am so invested in these characters and this world that I need to know what happens and if there’s a happy ending for a few of the characters (one can hope).

Kingsbane is out in the world today, so go grab your copy! And if you have not read Furyborn yet, I highly recommend!

nikole

 

WWW Wednesday | April 24, 2019

WWWWednesday

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words and was formerly hosted by A Daily Rhythm. It is open for anyone to participate, even without a blog you can comment on Sam’s post with your own answers. It is a great way to share what you’ve been reading! All you have to do is answer three questions and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

sword 1

What am I currently reading?

Finale by Stephanie Garber. This book is just everything I hoped it would be and more, and I’m only half way through. Stephanie’s world means so much to me and I’m sad to see it come to an end. But so far, Finale is a whirlwind of magic and romance and intrigue and I’m anticipating the second half will be too. If you have yet to read Caraval by Stephanie Garber, I highly recommend. And if you would like to see what I thought about Caraval during my reread, check out my review.

Kingsbane by Claire Legrand. I thought Furyborn was fantastic. But Kingsbane is blowing me away. This book is really giving me all the feels; I love the characterization of Rielle and Eliana. Kingsbane really explores both of their roots and who they are becoming and it is just. SO. GOOD. Kingsbane surpasses Furyborn, in my opinion; I still have about 100 pages left, but this book is destroying me and it’s beautiful.

sword 1

What did I recently finish reading?

Legendary by Stephanie Garber. This was actually a reread, as I was participating in Flatiron’s Caraval reread. Legendary was just as magical as Caraval, if not more. I love Tella in this book and the new setting is just breathtaking. Finishing Legendary put me in the right mood to jump straight into Finale. 

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He. Y’all. This book was everything. There was politics, murder, betrayal, a slow-burning romance, and more. If I could, I’d drop Descendant of the Crane in everyone’s’ hands because this book is just wonderful. The twists, the political intrigue…everything was just amazing in this book. I very much recommend, and my review of this book (and Legendary) will be available very soon.

sword 1

What do I plan on reading next?

Dark Shores

Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen sounds like a book right up my alley! Pirates, gods, and blackmail? Plus a good looking soldier? Count me in! The cover is absolutely GORGEOUS, so I cannot wait to devour this book! I’ll literally read any book about pirates, and I already know this book is going to be sooooo good!

sword 1

What are you currently reading?

nikole

 

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 3/4/19

Monday is upon us again. A new week means new books. This is what I plan on reading this week, What are you reading?

Bookish Boyfriends: The Boy Next Story- Tiffany Schmidt

41104127This is the second title in a paperback original series about a girl whose classic literary crushes manifest in real life, this time told from Rory Campbell’s point of view and inspired by the timeless classic Little Women. Rory likes Toby, but Toby likes Rory’s sister Merrilee, even though Merrilee is already dating Toby’s friend Fielding—and it’s all about to get even more complicated at Reginald R. Hero High . . . where our leading ladies’ romantic fantasies come true, often with surprising consequences. Perfect for younger readers of YA or older readers of middle grade, this squeaky-clean series is sure to charm any reader who’s ever had a book boyfriend of her own.

IMG_2250

 

Kingsbane- Claire Legrand

40895030Rielle Dardenne has been anointed Sun Queen, but her trials are far from over. The Gate keeping the angels at bay is falling. To repair it, Rielle must collect the seven hidden castings of the saints. Meanwhile, to help her prince and love Audric protect Celdaria, Rielle must spy on the angel Corien — but his promises of freedom and power may prove too tempting to resist. Centuries later, Eliana Ferracora grapples with her new reality: She is the Sun Queen, humanity’s long-awaited savior. But fear of corruption — fear of becoming another Rielle — keeps Eliana’s power dangerous and unpredictable. Hunted by all, racing against time to save her dying friend Navi, Eliana must decide how to wear a crown she never wanted — by embracing her mother’s power, or rejecting it forever.

IMG_2250

 

stacy