Author: Claire Legrand
Series: Empirium Trilogy #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: May 22nd, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: Physical ARC from publisher which did not influence my opinion in any way
My rating: 4 stars
Follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world...or doom it.
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.
This is one that I was a little unsure of how I would feel about it. I had a couple students who had early copies of it, and they really enjoyed it, but I'd also ready some not so great reviews. As it got started, there was a little confusion for me with the jumping back and forth, but it wasn't long before I got to where I was connecting the voices of the characters with their chapters and I was definitely intrigued by the story. It is a fantasy that I needed time to just sit and read, so I didn't read other than when I knew I'd have 20-30 minutes at a time of uninterrupted reading time. But it was good enough that when I'd have to stop at the end of that time, I had a hard time putting it down, because I was eager to see where it would go next. There was the jumping around in time that messed me up a bit at first, but then there was a connection with one of the characters, Simon, later on in the story that really tied it together and had me racing to the end to see where we would end. I loved the twists and turns it took with who could be trusted and who couldn't. The world was really well created, and very vivid. The characters were well developed, and by the end, you were totally re-evaluating how you'd felt about things that happened at the beginning. I love when an author can do that.
I will look forward to book 2 and seeing what the characters get up to and how they will go about figuring out the next step in reaching their goals. I can definitely understand that it could be slow for some people, but I felt it was worth the extra attention I had to give in order to read and enjoy it. It is one I will definitely buy for my school library.