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Book Review of Kingsbane (The Empirium Trilogy #2) by Claire Legrand


As much as I love sharing every little thought I have while reading books, sometimes I struggle to set the book down and write down my thoughts. Or I fall asleep then have to try to recall my thoughts the following morning. And considering how the last book went. I’m not even going to attempt to try it with this one. Mostly as I kept forgetting what order things happened in or if it was from the previous section. So, for Kingsbane the second book in The Empirium Trilogy by Claire Legrand, I’m just going to do a standard review once I finish the book.

Before we get into the review, let’s go over the details.


Two queens, separated by thousands of years, connected by secrets and lies, must continue their fight amid deadly plots and unthinkable betrayals that will test their strength―and their hearts.

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 savior. 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.

Book Details

Also, just a little note. I find it weird… in a way that the hardcover series, the dust cover primary cover is different than the book inside. So, the inside of Kingsbane matches the dust cover for Lightbringer, the cover for Kingsbane matches the hardback of Furyborn. And then Furyborn cover with Lightbringer inside. They aren’t uniform.

Note before continuing on, I will be discussing various plot points so spoiler warning is in affect.

It took me a while to read this book (2 weeks in total). It wasn’t bad, it just was still reminding me too much of Siege and Storm from Leigh Bardugo. There was a fair amount of changed elements especially with time travel. I’m curious how that event will ripple through the next book, since we know things have changed. We just don’t know how much.

I am willing to wager that the book is still going to follow almost the same timeline as Ruin and Rising. Rielle will go after the remaining castings as Alina went for the last amplifier. Something will turn her against Corien, most likely her child since she’s pregnant with Eliana, and Eliana unless things are too drastically altered will try again to come for her to convince her against her current path. And Rielle will reconcile and end up with Audric, as Alina ended up with Mal. Though I’m not sure about the power thing if somehow Rielle will be stripped of it. Considering how closely the two have been on Rielle’s part I think somehow Rielle will end up powerless, or dying due to the power after turning against Corien.

The worldbuilding is great especially as they travel to different parts of the world. Every area in the map is touched upon and detailed. Either through Rielle’s or Eliana’s chapters. We also got a few chapters here and there from Audric, Ludivine, Simon, and others. So, we could see a whole picture of things without it jumping too much back and forth. I think the thing that saved the chapter flips this time was Legrand went to other characters in that age to finish an action before hopping back to the other. There was still a lot of that happening, but the extra smaller chapters from other character’s POV helped balance it better.

Alright now the characters and my thoughts on them:

I would give this book a 3.5 star rating out of 5. It was better than the last, but only marginally. At this point, I don’t have high hopes for Lightbringer. Again, it’s just too similar to Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo for me to rate it higher. And considering this series came out after that series, I think it’s something that can’t be overlooked. Even if I like that’s there’s more to this series than there was in that one. The world is more built out, we have more complex characters, and it is more NA than MG/YA. As I mentioned in my Furyborn review, if I hadn’t read the other series I would’ve rated this higher. I probably also wouldn’t have such a hard time getting into the series. But that’s where I’m at with it.

I’m going to be reading the final book next… though considering A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas is coming out in the next few days. That might get read first. We’ll see as I’m not a multiple book at a time kind of person.

Love ya,

Mae Polzine

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