Review of ‘Lightbringer’

Lightbringer is the final in Claire Legrand’s Empirium Trilogy that comes to such a riveting and compelling and entrancing finale.

Captivating Story


by Claire Legrand
Sourcebooks Fire

What makes Lightbringer such a compelling novel is the storytelling. After Kingsbane, Eliana has found herself in the clutches of the enemy. Moreover, she has also found a way to return to the past. Nevertheless, her journey is not without peril, and with everything going on, Legrand succeeds in creating a dynamic story

What Legrand does very well with her storytelling is she paces it out very well. A lot is going on and many perspective changes, going between Rielle, Audric, Eliana, Ludivine, and Corien, giving the story a well-rounded scope. What is more is that Legrand also incorporates minor characters, giving them a voice and adding to the story’s scope.

Legrand makes sure everything matters to the reader and the story. These perspectives highlight changes in dynamics, the emotional spectrum of the characters as well as capturing the passage of time. What Legrand does here is essential to her storytelling and essential in keeping the pacing moving forward.

This story runs about 600 pages, but it does not come across that way to the reader. The way Legrand has built up the tension and the character dynamics make the novel captivating. Lightbringer does not lack for drama; it does not lack drive or thrill, pulling the reader into the pages’ folds as they watch the events unfold.

All About the Characters

What also makes Lightbringer is the characterization; it is Rielle and Eliana who draw in the reader.

Rielle is a character that the reader has so many feelings for. She does some unforgivable things in this novel, yet the reader cannot help but pity her. Yes, the reader hates her at times, Rielle is easy to hate, but what makes her compelling is her pain. Rielle is drowning in her anger, in her guilt, grief, and resentment. Readers of the series have seen Rielle battle the darkness only to be mistreated because of her power. Given how she was treated all her life, it is easy to understand her descent into darkness. So even while the reader hates her at times, the reader pities her and admires her. Deep down, the reader wants her to face the consequences of her actions, but the reader also wants to pull herself out and find redemption. Her inner battle with her power, with good versus evil, drives the story forward.

When in Eliana’s perspective, the reader sees an entirely different girl. Eliana works as a foil for Rielle, a girl who grew up loved and who had to fight for everything. Now, Eliana is fighting to undo the past and her mother’s mistake. This ferocity within her, this tenacity she holds, and the courage to stand tall in the face of peril make her compelling. Eliana is unwilling to fall into the same trap her mother did, creating the perfect balance the story needs to keep the story from sounding repetitive.

Legrand does such an exceptional job of creating multi-layered, complex characters. There is not a single character in this novel that is just black or white. The reader connects to all of them, understanding where they came from, loving them, hating them, and pitying them. Legrand explores their dynamics. She explores their inner turmoil to give readers a rich and diverse cast of characters

In tandem with the plot, they work to create a compelling story.

Final Thoughts

Lightbringer is such a compelling finale drawing the reader in and keeping them glued to the story as it unfolds and evolves, building upon these character narratives.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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Product Details:

Pub Date: October 13, 2020Page Count: 592ppAge Range: 14 & Over
ISBN: 978-1-4926-5668-5Publisher: Sourcebooks FireList Price: $18.99

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Writing Quality


Character Development


"Couldn't Put It Down"-ness


Intellectual Depth





  • Great characterization
  • Amazing pace
  • Intense storytelling

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