Review: Furyborn by Claire Legrand

Had it not been a busy couple of weeks, I would have torn through this book even quicker; however, as my friend Bradley Lloyd--Shadow Fray--likes to say, it also serves well as a slow burn novel. Either way, this book will keep you interested.

The world that Legrand creates brings you in almost immediately; it is plausible yet complicated, and fantasy fans will welcome its originality--the transcendentalist in me is especially hooked on the concept of the Empirium. However, if you are like me, and just like a good book--any good book--then you will be pleased with its accessibility. You can geek out on this book as much or as little as you want.

I'm a sucker for strong female characters, and Furyborn introduces two beautifully crafted female protagonists told mostly in a parallel format that links up at the end, which showcases Legrand's storytelling mastery. Rielle and Eliana are powerful in their own right, immensely brave, yet flawed enough to show the struggle of owning and releasing personal power--all nicely wrapped in a tight and intricate fantasy plot with supporting characters that you will love as much as Rielle and Eliana do. 

This is my first read by the author, but I'm definitely going to be checking out her other books. Can't find the release date of Book 2 yet, but I'll update if I hear anything--rumors included.

Usage of "They" as a Singular Pronoun? Absolutely Yes!


I’m an English teacher.  A college English teacher.  And I have a confession.  In my students’ writing, I don’t correct the erroneous usage of “they” when it is used to create a gender-neutral pronoun for a singular subject. I’ve never admitted this to my colleagues; when this is even hinted at, there are audible gasps at faculty meetings. To me it’s important for two reasons.  A living language needs to evolve. In American speech, it is common to use a singular “they” instead of an awkward “he or she” or a biased “he” to refer to all genders. In fact, I would argue that the primary usage of a singular "they" in speech is an effort by the speaker to be fair. However, the singular “they” is an effortless effort. It feels and sounds natural—so much so that it flies under the radar of even the most adamant PC opponents. This leads to the second and more important reason: using a singular “they” allows the language to be inclusive.  Alternative usages have been created to try to tackle the lack of a gender-neutral singular pronoun (such as only using the the feminine pronoun in the same way that the masculine pronoun was used in the past). However, this doesn't create inclusivity.   It is rare to see the singular “they” embraced in academic circles. The necessity of inclusion has been pared down for the last decade or so, but as meaningful societal conversations regarding the trans community become more common, English teachers should also examine their rigidity in regards to this. Having witnessed first-hand the abject resistance to the singular “they” in otherwise forward-thinking people who value critical thought, I am dumbfounded by this. So I am making a public declaration in favor of the use of the singular “they,”and I encourage all English teachers and writers to do the same. 

KCAL CBS Los Angeles Interview

Not my most loquacious interview, but it's nice to have an official tag in the interview regardless. Greg Mills said that he thought he was more nervous than I was when he interviewed me...with everything else that was going on, I did forget to be nervous.