Furyborn is a dual perspective novel about Eliana and Rielle; two young women set 1000 years apart that are the focus of an ancient prophecy
Rielle I am a bit ambivalent towards to be completely honest. I wasn’t all that invested in her character even though she was one of the main protagonists. She just came across a little too arrogant and conceited. Yes she has had to overcome a lot of obstacle hiding her powers for so many years and having to deal with the guilt of her mother’s death, but there was just something about her that rubbed me the wrong way. I think it has to do with letting Corien into her mind so easily, especially after finding out what he was and still perpetuating his attachment to her.
Eliana was frustrating at times as well. Again I can understand why she chose to be the assassin of the empire for so many years but when she tried to betray the resistance and almost murder those 300ish people for her own selfish reasons it really soured her for me. She does redeem herself though and sees the error of her ways, but I just wish she was a little more open to those around her and wasn’t so closed off and snappish all the time.
Simon definitely intrigues me the most! What happened when he let go of the thread at the start and how did he come to be under the employ of the emperor? Broody, secretive, sullen male protagonists are a crutch for me, I guess I give them a bit more leeway than female protagonists who have the same characteristics but that’s just me…
Even though our two female protagonists got on my nerves it didn’t take away from the story at all. Every character really has that morally grey, ambiguous nature where you don’t really know what side they are truly on. It raises the stakes consistently and maintains a level of unpredictability throughout the course of the story line.
I loved the dual timeline and seeing how the world differs between the two. I am very much invested in the story and want to find out more about what happened during that two year window between Rielle, Audric and Corien. The world building was wonderful, the juxtaposition between the two countries and how the perception of magic has changed over time.
⭐️4/5 stars I was invested from the start!
This book is a retelling of the Arthurian legend. Princess Guinevere has come to Camelot to wed the charismatic King Arthur. With magic clawing at the kingdom’s borders, the great wizard Merlin sent in Guinevere his apprentice and daughter to be Arthur’s wife and his protector from those who want to see the young king’s idyllic city fail.
I actually really enjoyed Guinevere’s character. She was quite young and naïve at times, which usually bugs me but it was written in a way that endeared me to her instead. She is very determined and committed to her duties but still comes across and acts like the 16 year old that she is. She displays emotions and understands Arthur’s position yet she still yearns for his attention thus drawing herself closer to Mordred who is giving her what she wants. I think since we aren’t given her true name and identity that she is definitely not who we assume her to be, I’m thinking she has something to do with the River Queen since she is so terrified of water.
Mordred was an interesting character. He is always around and I feel has a lot more focus in this book than even Arthur. He remains quite standoffish and mysterious for the majority of the book yet I was intrigued by him and what his intentions were with Guinevere. Why was he always around her, why didn’t he expose her magic and is his feelings for her true?
Arthur didn’t get a lot of time in this book. Even though he is one of the main protagonists we don’t really get enough of him for me to be quite so invested in his character over the others. I think he definitely should have spent more time with Guinevere and kind of neglected her. I get that he was actually the one who was protecting her in the end but we don’t get enough scenes with the both of them together. I was disappointed when he didn’t go straight after her when she was kidnapped and it felt like it was a too little too late when he did eventually choose her over the kingdom.
The twists were interesting but the first half of the book was a little slower paced and we didn’t really get any answers until the right around the end, and even then there is still so much we don’t know. Hopefully the next book expands more and we are given more context and details!
⭐️3/5 stars good not great, has potential!
The Devouring Gray is about a town called Four Paths where there are four founding families who protect the town from an ancient monster that lurks in the forest surrounding the towns.
I was very much invested right from the start of this book. There is a little bit of an info dump and it took me a second to get all the characters and their names down but around the 50-100 page mark I was definitely settled into the story and wanted to know more!
I found both Justin and May to have a bit of a superiority complex, their mum as well. I thought the fact that he has deceived the whole town for so long and still revelled in their admiration for him to be a little problematic. I did appreciate how he did see the error of his ways and apologised to Harper but like she said I think it’s too little too late, especially when she found out how much of a hypocrite he is. He came across quite douchey and I couldn’t really warm up to him for the majority of the book.
Violet was an interesting character. I liked the fact that she did whatever it took to find out the truth and got every side of the story before she made a decision on who she was siding with. Finding out the history of her family was fascinating and seeing how she struggled with her sister’s death whilst in the middle of this chaos was admirable.
I really enjoyed Harper’s tenacity and determination. It’s quite heartbreaking to learn about her history with Justin and the way he ostracised her when she needed him most. I thought her anger was very much justified and I almost wish she would have made him grovel more.
Isaac was one of my favourite characters. His broodiness and staunch loyalty to Justin fascinated me and I very much wanted to find out more about him and his family and why they left. Hopefully what really happened at the time of his trial is revealed in the coming book, it was alluded to but not directly specified so I want to know more about that for sure. I thought his friendship with Violet was cute and I was thinking they were developing feelings for each other, but when he dropped that bombshell at the end of the book I wasn’t so sure.
Like a lot of people have been saying this is like an episode of Riverdale mixed with the Raven Boys and Stranger Things. The whimsical setting, the family lore and history of the town, the impending doom, the bi rep throughout, all solid plot devices that had me engaged and eager to read on!
⭐️4/5 stars I’m invested!!
This book is about a girl named Nora Walker who comes from a long line of Walker women who are rumoured to be witches. They have always lived on the edge of a haunted wood named the Winterwood that only Walker woman can traverse as finders of the mysterious objects that’s appear there.
I absolutely loved the overall premise and atmosphere of this book. I think it is definitely one of Shea Ernshaw’s strengths in her writing, I felt like I was actually there on the mountain experiencing the freezing cold along with Nora.
The history of the Walker women was super fascinating and I absolutely loved the fact that we got inserts from their history and their recipes they’ve come up with over the years. It added much needed depth and a sense of history that really reinforced the whimsical nature of these women and how each of their stories impacted Nora throughout the plot.
Nora at times I thought was a little naïve and unprepared for the situations that she walked into. Going to that party and trying to confront those boys and ending up stranded and locked in the room unable to help herself was a little frustrating at times. She definitely had the best intentions, especially when they built the fire too close to the trees, but she lacked a bit of assertiveness. Even when she was leading them to the Winterwood even though she knew they shouldn’t go in there she didn’t really do anything to prevent the situation.
The romance was a little too insta-lovey for me as well. They didn’t really know each other for that long and the fact that this girl literally went back in time to save him demonstrating how much she loved him was a tad much for me to be really convinced. If they had maybe spent a little more time together and actually cultivated a relationship I would be more inclined to believe it.
Other than that I was swept away into the story line and I just kind of enjoyed myself. The few plot twists that were thrown in there were entertaining, a few I predicted a mile away and others, especially Nora’s magical ability I didn’t see coming at all!
⭐️4/5 stars A quick, fun, kind of spooky, ominous read!
Better than I was expecting!
This book is about a girl called Beatrice who is able to read inanimate objects and travel through mirrors. She can trace the origins of the object and is able to glean the owner’s thoughts at the time of touching the object.
Beatrice is one of those main protagonists who doesn’t see herself as special and would describe herself as scraggly and ugly. She doesn’t have much self-confidence, is timid and at the start just succumbs to the rules and regulations set forth by her and Thorn’s family. Usually when we have female main protagonists like this I end up hating them and becoming disinterested in the story but because the plot line was so compelling I was still very much engaged. She does show some growth over the course of the story line and develops a little more of a backbone, demanding answers and figuring out what was actually happening.
Thorn we didn’t see enough of in the book in my opinion. I was very interested in his character, especially his broodiness, which just appeals to me. Gradually we find out a little more about him and his background, why he is estranged from the rest of the Dragon clan. The twist at the end where Beatrice finds out he’s actually the one calling the shots confused me at first but as his plans become clear it does make sense. I’m hoping he is a little more present in the next book. The banter between him and Beatrice was entertaining and I am starting to see a connection between the two of them, I’m interested to see how that progresses.
I loved the premise of the book; I found it highly unique and fresh. The world building could have been a little more developed; I was a little confused about the whole ark situation and what kind of world they are actually in. I would love a bit more history and origins of the different clans. I definitely want to find out more about what spurred the animosity between the different clans and how the heads of the families came to be! The magic system is what really grabbed my attention within the novel. How each of the different clans specialises in something and how that speciality manifests uniquely in each person.
⭐️4/5 I’m intrigued, engaged and want to know more!