Kingsbane by Claire Legrand – REVIEW
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 saviour. 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.
“We are the light against the darkness, and we must continue to burn brightly, so others may find their way out.”
I absolutely loved Furyborn so couldn’t wait to read the sequel as soon as I could get my hands on it. Everything that made me obsessed with the first book has been expanded in the second and it’s definitely one of my favourite reads of 2019 so far. After the events of Furyborn, we continue to follow Rielle and Eliana as their worlds become increasingly intertwined. The fast-paced action is gripping and there are so many twists, reveals, and surprises that I couldn’t put it down. I honestly gasped numerous times with sheer shock. Be warned though, you’ll be desperate for the final book once you turn the last page.
“The empirium is limitless, and we are of the empirium. Therefore, we are limitless.”
Rielle and Eliana remain two of my favourite female characters for their complexity. Rielle, in particular, is often condemned as difficult, exhibiting traits that are frequently praised in men. The enormous power she wields has the potential to corrupt but it’s hard not to empathise with her at times as she craves the freedom Corien offers. Rielle is both beloved and feared because of her country’s dangerous belief in a prophecy, but who’s to say it doesn’t mean something different or been interpreted incorrectly? I particularly loved Eliana’s development from the recklessly selfish woman in the first book into someone willing to do what’s right for the good of others.
“Her power was full of rage, and yet capable of extraordinary tenderness, a dichotomy of darkness and light existing as one.”
We also enjoyed some new points of view in this book, including Corien, Simon, Navi, Ludivine, Jessamyn, Harkan and Audric. I think these worked really well as they gave the reader a chance to see how others view Rielle and Eliana, as well as fleshing out some background details. One of my favourite elements is the portrayal of healthy friendships like those between Eliana and Navi, and Audric and Ilmaire (these two are honestly the cutest!). The growing romantic relationship between Eliana and Simon mirrored that of Rielle and Audric at times, and I can’t wait to see where the next book takes them. The great characters, fascinating magic system, and fantastic worldbuilding combined with a fast-paced and engaging plot ensure Kingsbane is at the top of the YA fantasy genre.