Have you ever read a book and then tried not to think about about it for a long time? Yes, maybe? Anyway, that is me thinking about Furyborn. Actually, I read it in January as an ARC. And my first thought was, I sure hope none of my fav book boxes make this the book of the month.
Not a good thought to start a review. Or to end a book with. And since I disliked this book A LOT, I avoided writing a review. But an occasional rant review is good for the soul, right?
Since I’m not a raging bottle of anger, we’re going to make this as engaging as possible. Without me bursting into flames of disappointment over Furyborn.
What I probably look like while talking about this book.
Furyborn reads like a checklist.
🔷 Compelling opening.
🔷 Killer assassin girl
🔷 Shady guys with mysterious backstories
🔷 Vague diversity
🔷 New Adult Scenes™ (GROSS)
🔷 Sword fights and killing games.
Now, let’s talk about this checklist.
A Pretty Great Opening
Furyborn starts with a BANG. Quiet literally. But it gives away the ending in the very first chapter. WHAT??? I was so confused????
Basically, the premise is an ancient prophecy told everyone that two Queens will rise. One is a Good Queen™ and the very bad Queen of Blood who will destroy the world.
You’d think we should be left in the dark about who the evil queen is, right? NOPE, NOPE, NOPE. The very first chapter tells us who the evil character/Queen is. She admits to killing her husband and destroying herself in the same chapter? In the very opening????
Maybe the author is giving us a morally shady character and the Evil Queen™ will actually be the Good Queen™? Did this happen? Not that I can see. Kind of hope the second book does this? But will I read the second book? Probably not. #sorrynotsorry
Also, quick rabbit trail about time jumps. The book supposedly takes place a 1,000 years apart. But other than different cities, the worlds feel very, very similar. There’s no noticeable change. A tad unrealistic. (WHY am I writing this. VERY unrealistic)
Okkkkkk….NEXT on the checklist.
Assassins & Mysterious bad guys
I don’t have a problem with any of these ideas? But the executions just weren’t working in this story. First, the assassin character didn’t feel like an assassin. More like an angsty teenage girl who can’t figure out her own emotions.
Also, does anyone else think the King’s Assassin is a Teenage Girl trope is just overdone? The character is literally called the Dread of Orline. She wasn’t dreadful. Well, maybe having to read about her was dreadful.
Author Rant – If you give a character a BIG SCARY NAME/TITLE, write something that backs it up. Don’t just tell us a character is scary. Make them actually scary.
And mysterious bad boys. I actually liked the one-dimensional prince, Adric? He was a sweet Gryffindor and I have a soft place in my heart for sweet teddy bears.
But the whole idea of the evil angel was gross. Just gross. (Content Warning) Corien is invasive of Rielle and she likes it??? He can speak into her mind and touch her body in a non-consensual way and she swoons? If this was completely portrayed as absolutely wrong, ok, maybe tolerable. But this was portrayed as something Rielle just accepted, even craved? (End CW)
Reading that part of the story, I almost completely DNF’d. Because it was just wrong.
Diversity & NA Scenes
There’s a lot of buzz around Goodreads/twitter world that Furyborn has bisexual rep. But I don’t think it does. I think it’s actually just poorly written and thrown in. And the way it’s written is super cringey.
If you want to know more about the rep, read May’s review. She goes into more depth and does an excellent job talking about this.
Now, to my favorite rant. Ever. Because apparently I love screaming about this. A lot. WHY ARE THERE NA SCENES IN A YA BOOK???????
^Me, raging about NA scenes^
And not just NA scenes. But the whole popular style of, let me write this as weirdly poetic as possible. Mountains tremble while we kiss and do…other things. SO unrealistic & so GROSS.
I promise you, guys. I WILL take off a star for ANY book that has adult sex scenes in a YA book. Because YA is for 13+ and even my 20+ self DOES NOT WANT NA scenes. Go buy adult romance if that’s what you want to read or write. STOP putting it in YA books. Just stop.
Apparently, I’m waging a crusade against NA content in YA books. You can even read about me clarifying about overblown PDA verses PDA done right. I’m not a PDA hater, really, I’m not. (Kind of like to think people might agree with me???)
Sword Fights & Killing Games
I’m actually talking about the plot, now? Maybe?
Remember how I said the opening gave away the plot? Did you believe me? Well, you should have. Because it really, actually very much did.
This whole story revolves around Rielle doing these power trials, aka Killing Games. Will she survive? Will she prove herself? Or will the trials kill her? BUT jokes on you! Because the prologue already told you she survived and killed her husband, haha! Why am I reading this, again?
Oh, but what about the other girl? The other girl a 1,000 years later? just a second…I need to google her name. The Dread of Orline,
Celaena Sardothien, opps, Elianna, is running away. From what? I don’t know. She’s running. With a boy.
That’s all. Maybe she’ll whack somebody with her sword? Then she’ll feel guilty. Because of course, assassin killer teenagers have whacky emotional consciences.
I actually enjoyed reading Rielle’s story, because even though I knew she was going to survive, something was actually happening. Assassin running away was yawn-worthy boring. Rielle being catty and the politics and even the trials was interesting. I mean, the trials the magical element people created to destroy her was just fun to read. Also, Adric the Gryffindor™
Whew, I didn’t realize I could rant so well? But I do hope all my reasons make lots of sense. And if you don’t believe me, you can read Furyborn 🙂 The marketing campaign for this book was insane, just saying. I’ve been seeing it everywhere!
And truthfully, that cover is gorgeous.
My rating – 1/5 stars
When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.
A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire 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.
Have you read Furyborn? Agree/disagree with my rant?
Why is NA content such a thing in some YA books? What do you think about teenage girls being dreadful assassins? Are you a fan of Gryffindor guys?
ARC of Furyborn received from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.