Monday, November 11, 2013

Book Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Pages: 423
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pub. Date: September 20, 2011
Source: Personal Copy
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.  Elisa is the chosen one.  But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can't see how she ever will.  Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess. And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people's savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake. Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young. Most of the chosen do"
Elisa is an overweight sixteen year old princess who is actually quite smart and capable, but lacks the confidence. She finds herself spending a lot of time in the kitchen eating pastries and her feelings.  She is forced to marry a king for political reasons and despite the fact that she will be queen, she still feels inadequate, especially when she compares herself to her older sister. Elisa isn't just a future queen though, she carries a Godstone, which is a stone that means she is chosen by God to do something great.  This fact is hidden from many though and Elisa isn't quite sure why or the secrets behind it.  After she marries Alejandro, the king, he keeps their marriage hidden until he ready to divulge the truth to his kingdom.  This leaves Elisa even more insecure, but she does find an unlikely friendship with Lord Hector, the king's personal guard.   Elisa surprisingly understand war and strategy and not many people recognize this in her.  Before she can become too comfortable at her new home, she is kidnapped and taken through the desert, which ends up being the journey of her life.  Rae Carson's The Girl of Fire and Thorns possesses everything I like about a high fantasy.  Simply put, fans of this genre: this is a must read!

Elisa is the type of heroine I adore.  Initially people underestimate her, but as time passes she evolves, learns, and ultimately grows.  During the first half of the book, I really felt for her. She found solace in food and just wanted to be a wallflower.  Her transformation, both physically and emotionally is one of my favorite aspects of The Girl of Fire and Thorns.  Elisa's purpose isn't just to be a Alejandro's queen; after all, she is the bearer of the Godstone.  After she is kidnapped, she learns more about her purpose and what she is truly capable of. 

The setting was awesome.  I loved the kingdoms, the desert, the idea of a Godstone, the war torn villages, the religion, and of course, the magic.  The Girl of Fire and Thorns took me back to the old-school fantasies that I used to love as a child. 

This novel not only has a lot of action, but there's also a lot of politics in it.  Since there is a war brewing, Elisa has to deal with neighboring enemies, being kidnapped, political conspiracies and much, much more.  Also, the action in The Girl of Fire and Thorns is by no means predictable. As in all good fantasies, this novel had more than a few heart-wrenching moments, moments of susupense and moments of complete surprise.

I highly recommend The Girl of Fire and Thorns for readers who adore high fantasy. It reminded me a lot of Graceling, which is one of my favorites! I am looking forward to reading the next installments, Crown of Embers and The Bitter Kingdom, and seeing where it takes Elisa, whose journey is definitely not over.


11 comments:

  1. YAY!! So happy you enjoyed this book! Just wait until you start The Crown of Embers (very surprising) and The Bitter Kingdom (*swoons over Hector*), because they are both outstanding stories.

    Great review :D

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    1. I can't wait to read the next two books in the series. I am definitely a Hector fan! :) Thanks for visiting Lea!

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  2. I am so glad you liked the book. It is definitely one of my favorites and this is a series that I think ends well too so no disappointment with the end of the trilogy unlike so many others I can name...

    Elisa is a wonderful heroine (there should be more characters like her in YA fantasy) and I can't wait to see what Rae Carson writes next.

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    1. That's good to know! I definitely plan on continuing with the series. Thanks for visiting, Christina!

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  3. I just loved this book, and I thought it was such a solid premise to a great new series! It's a rarity in this day and age! I can't wait to see what you think of the rest of the series, Christina! Fantastic review :)

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    1. Me too. I can't wait to see what happens next. I'm glad you liked the series--good to know! Thanks for dropping by, Melissa!

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  4. So glad you enjoyed this book as I did! Rae Carson is one of the only authors where I'll also spend $2.99 for the e-novellas. They have so much content to them and add new perspectives. I encourage you to read them as well :)

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    1. Oh, really? I will definitely have to check them out then. Thanks for visiting!

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  5. Elisa's growth in this series is one of my very favorite parts of this series too Christina! I struggled with her a bit in Part 1 of this first book, but I adored in her in the second and third parts and in the remainder of the series. I just was rooting for her the whole time! Can't wait to see what you think of the remaining books!

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    1. Me too--she definitely grew on me as she developed and strengthen. I am hoping to start book two next month. Can't wait to see what happens! Thanks for dropping by, Jenny!

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  6. This is one of those series that I'm always kicking myself for not getting into. It sounds like EXACTLY my kind of book.

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