Review: Kingsbane (the Empirium Series #2) by Claire Legrand

Kingsbane by Claire Legrand Book Cover

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—

Book Details

Kingsbane by Claire Legrand
The Empirium Series #2)
Published May 21st 2019 by Sourcebooks Fire
Young Adult Fiction / Fantasy / Dark Fantasy
Hardcover, 608 pages
Source: Publisher
My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

 

Claire Legrand’s YA fantasy series continues to expand the world of Furyborn leaving readers breathless as this page-turning second installment delivers adventure, dangerous twists, and heart-pounding romance.

KINGSBANE does not suffer from second-book syndrome but instead offers two epic quests by two unforgettable heroines, each separated by thousands of years, fighting to fulfill their destinies.

In a world as brutal as it is beautiful, Legrand reveals the legends behind the Saints and the Gate holding back the tide of angels.

Connected by secrets and betrayals, KINGSBANE brings these two times periods and interconnected characters ever closer, both heart-rendering and hopeful, making this read unforgettable.

This war between humans and angels has been raging for millennia. It has spread from our world to the next. If we don’t stop it, it could keep spreading. Like an inferno, it could consume every world that exists.

The story opens shortly after Furyborn’s ending—running two parallel story-lines, once again alternating between Rielle and Eliana’s perspectives, adding in additional voices as well to the story, namely Corien.

The story packs a terrific punch of fierce feminism and human frailty—It asks questions about identity and destiny.

This a story worthy of remembering as each character is imagined multi-dimensional and breathable. It’s been a long time since I’ve read two such compelling protagonists sharing the same page-time.

Rielle Dardenne, now anointed as the Sun Queen, is sent on a dangerous mission collecting seven hidden castings of the saints in order to repair the Gate holding the angels at bay, while the rebel angel Corien continues to tempt her with dangerous offerings of power.

Rielle spirals ever closer to her destiny as Blood Queen—can she break it, and if so, in the end, will she want to?

Every moment spent reading from her perspective delivers readers to the realization of the ending we all know from Furyborn, but it is the experience of following in Rielle’s footsteps, that renders us unable to look away, spellbound and heartbroken—yet ever hopeful.

Eliana must confront her heritage and embrace her destiny—even as those she loves she endangers with her unpredictable magic.

Centuries later, Eliana Ferracora is trying to come to terms with the knowledge she is the Sun Queen, humanity’s long-awaited savior—but her fear of becoming like her blood mother makes her magic dangerous and unpredictable.

Eliana really comes into her own in this story and fans of the first books are going to see much more time spent on her expanding her knowledge and experience, especially with the help of Simon. I found the tests with her elemental powers fascinating.

In the End

KINGSBANE was everything I hoped for and more in a second volume. The world is even more intricate, with the layers of humans and warrior angels fighting, while not everything is black and white as the long history of the saints and the Gate become clearer. I definitely would recommend this to fans of Furyborn and fans of the fantasy genre.