There’s always such pressure when it comes to series enders. For the Empirium series, the pressure is even higher considering the epic storyline and length. I absolutely adored Furyborn and Kingsbane. This is one of those series where I am actively keeping track of the sequels. Keep reading this book review to see what I thought of this epic conclusion.
Queen Rielle, pushed away from everything she loves, turns to Corien and his promises of glory. Meanwhile, whispers from the empirium slowly drive her mad, urging her to open the Gate. Separated from Audric and Ludivine, she embraces the role of Blood Queen and her place by Corien’s side, determined to become the monster the world believes her to be.
In the future, Eliana arrives in the Empire’s capital as a broken shell of herself. Betrayed and abandoned, she fights to keep her power at bay—and away from Corien, who will stop at nothing to travel back in time to Rielle, even if that means destroying her daughter.
But when the mysterious Prophet reveals themselves at last, everything changes, giving Rielle and Eliana a second chance for salvation—or the destruction their world has been dreading.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
I cannot even imagine the undertaking of Legrand to end this epic trilogy. The Empirum trilogy has been one of time travel, angels and sacrifices, and betrayal that still manages to shock me. How to sum up my immense feelings for this sequel? While Lightbringer delighted me with its twists and turns, I felt like the sheer number of POVs made the pacing feel extremely slow up until about 50% of the book. It allows us the reader to see the ways the story, and action, are unfolding. Yet when we keep switching between characters, and times, it made the pace of the book feel like it took some time to unfold.
That’s certainly not a deal breaker for me, as I do love multiple POV novels. It’s just that comparing the first half to the second half, I felt like all of a sudden the action begins to start domino effects. It felt a bit like once the pieces clicked into place, they raced towards the cliffs edge. With series enders, I find that endings can be very polarizing for readers. Personally, I appreciated the way Lightbringer is both an ending for the story, and for the series. Even though there’s plenty of ways Legrand could write further novels. The best endings are bittersweet at the least and resolved at the best.
But overall, I enjoyed the way Lightbringer continues our discussion about power and identity. Not often enough do I read stories about ambitious girls. Girls who are willing to stare the darkness and expanses of power in the eyes and step forward. Throughout the series, I have loved witnessing Rielle and Eliana’s journey as they figure out what they will do for power. Not only who will love them when the dust settles, but will they be able to look themselves in the mirror when the blood dries.