Thursday, May 17, 2018

Blog Tour: Furyborn

Hi all! Welcome to one of today's stops on the Furyborn blog tour, set up by the wonderful Raincoast Books.
I hope you're excited to read this when it comes out next week. It's familiar in the way epic fantasy can be, magic and kings and queens and secrets, but it feels wholly different because of the characters and the events that take place. The different points of view and the circumstances that connect them. To celebrate the book, here's a review of the book and a quick little Q&A with Claire Legrand.

Title: Furyborn
Author: Claire Legrand
Release Date: May 22, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

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.

Furyborn is the beginning of an epic tale, a tale of magic and destiny. It's the intertwined stories of two young women who want to live, who want to be themselves, to do what they want and be with who they want to be with. But there is always a prophecy waiting, there's always fate and destiny standing by, ready for them to come into their own. Ready to show them how they will change the world.

Rielle is tired of hiding so many things. Her feelings, her thoughts, her abilities. But revealing them, any of them, would mean disaster. It would mean ruin. It would mean she'd never have the chance at something resembling happiness. But when her hand is forced, when her powers are revealed, so begins something deceptive and deadly, so begins plans and plots. So begins her mission to survive while waking something dangerous. Eliana is certain she's only good at one thing, certain that being good at this one thing will keep her and her family safe. Keep them fed and cared for. But then her mother vanishes, pushing her to take a job in particular, a job that will lead her towards rebels and spies. And so Eliana becomes involved in a rebellion, a fight she never wanted to be anywhere near. But it's too late now, and someone is rather interested in her.

It's a deeply layered and epic story. There's Rielle's mission to hid herself and then reveal herself to those around her in order to keep everything safe, and there's Eliana's job that keeps her in the darkness, keeps her hidden, until she's pushed to search for someone important. There certainly was a lot of world-building to establish in the beginning, for both points of view. Over time certain secrets are revealed, certain connections are made, and when the link between them was made, I knew the rest of the trilogy was sure to be even more complicated. Even more about these two young women and their determination, their strength, their power.

(I received an e-galley of this title to review from Sourcebooks Fire through NetGalley.)

And now, my question to Claire Legrand!
Q: I saw you mention on Twitter how much you love how both Rielle and Eliana are unapologetic about their rage. In a trilogy that starts with a book called Furyborn, it makes sense that anger would be important, that it would push and drive both young women. Did you know from the beginning that their anger would be so present, Rielle's yearning and passion and Eliana's frustrations, or did they appear as you first plotted out your ideas for the series as a whole?
Claire Legrand: Rielle has always been a character defined by her passion, her temper, her fear. She is a creature of extremes—quick to anger and quick to love. Eliana actually used to be a much more subdued character, more of a wide-eyed, waifish ingenue than the angry, hardened girl she is in Furyborn's final iteration. Whereas Rielle appeared basically fully-formed, and it was easy for me to see and understand her, Eliana was a more challenging character to get just right—which makes sense, given how guarded she is, and how she is loath to let people see her true self, in all its insecurity and vulnerability.
On a personal level, though I often feel angry about injustices I see, or evil in the world, or even just people being cruel in everyday, small ways, I'm terrible at confrontation and often let my own fears keep me quiet. It's been therapeutic to spend so much time with two characters who seldom hesitate to communicate their rage. I honestly think that writing Rielle and Eliana has given me more courage than I would have had without them.
Thanks so much to Raincoast Books for setting up the blog tour, and thanks so much to Claire for answering my question. Be sure to check out Furyborn when it comes out next week!

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