ARC Review: Kingsbane (Empirium #2), by Claire Legrand

kingsbane claire legrand

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult


In Kingsbane, Rielle has now been named Sun Queen, but not everyone agrees with that. As protests against her become more riotous and the Gate shows signs of starting to fall, Rielle must do what she can to collect the castings from the Saints to save humanity, and not be seduced by Corien in the process. A thousand years later, Eliana is too afraid of becoming corrupted to use her powers, making it even more dangerous. She must learn how to yield her power without letting it destroy her before it’s too late.

Kingsbane is the second book on the Empirium trilogy, and I was lucky enough to receive an ARC  from the giveaway Swetlana held in her blog some time ago! I was so, so excited to receive it, and it came with some great swag, including a pin which now lives on my work backpack and makes me feel 100% more awesome. This was the first physical ARC I ever received so needless to say, I was super thrilled, especially since I loved Furyborn so much!

This is the powerful, feminist fantasy world I have been waiting for my whole life – we have two queens, amazing powers, corruption, betrayal, magical trials, plot twists and kick-ass fighting scenes. We also have bi representation and that just makes me SO happy!

This book reads quickly, despite being almost 600 pages long, and I was happy to delve into the world again. Surprisingly, this time I liked the scenes with Rielle better than Eliana’s, as she descends into darkness and becomes the Blood Queen we know from book 1 she is fated to turn into. Eliana, on the other hand, is struggling with her powers and her emotions a lot in this book, and I was a bit upset at how that blinded her to some of the things happening around her (not that I saw them coming either, but, well). I absolutely understand what made her behave the way she did, but I hope on book 3 we get badass Eliana back!

One of the best aspects of this book is the friendship between women, to be quite honest! It’s great seeing them be there for each other, fight alongside each other… and sometimes having ulterior motives and conflicted feelings. So cool. I loved to see a bit more of the world and its history! The only not-so-positive aspects of this book for me were, as mentioned, Eliana spending lots of time struggling and Rielle going through trials and thus (as per book 1), the middle slows down a bit, and also that the changing of point-of-views made the emotional impact of the scenes not as intense as it could be. But it makes for a fast reading, so not too many complaints there!

Oh, by the way – if you pick up this book, be READY for some heart-wrenching plot twists. I was shocked at the end of it and obsessed over it for so many days before I could pass the denial phase and just accept things as they are and now wait (impatiently) for book 3 to come out!


6 thoughts on “ARC Review: Kingsbane (Empirium #2), by Claire Legrand

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