December 24, 2012

Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns #1) by Rae Carson
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: September 2011 by Greenwillow
Purchase: Amazon - Book Depository

Book Description:

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.

♥ ♥ ♥

Lately I’ve been not sleeping so instead of continuing my kdrama spiral on Netflix I started reading this book, which is never really a good idea because once I start a book and I enjoy it I usually end up finishing in one sitting. That was the case with this first Fire and Thorns book, because from the fantasy to the worldbuilding and locations to the love story I couldn’t put it down.

The book starts out on Princess Elisa’s sixteenth birthday, which also happens to be her wedding day to the King of the neighboring country. It turns out that a part of the wedding agreement was for her father’s troops to be added to the war effort against a mysterious country to the north. Elisa is also special because of a Godstone that was placed in her stomach that connects her to both God and a special unknown destiny.

After the wedding she sets off with her new husband King Alejandro for her new home in the desert. Where she is not expected or welcomed as the King keeps her and the Godstone a secret. As time goes by she discovers that pretty much everyone was keeping things from her growing up, which of course gives us as readers a way to learn too. Her journey isn’t one she wanted especially later on in the book, but Elisa seems to meet every challenge and prove herself.

Elisa is very well read in the history of wars and religion more so than anyone else since the Godstone seems to be alive and responds to her prayers. The religious aspect of the book can be a bit much at times, but in terms of the overall story it fits well with the fantasy elements. Speaking of the fantasy parts, if you’re someone not fond of high fantasy then this book would be really good to check out because it is fairly toned down.

An issue with the story that I saw was in other reviews on Goodreads was how she was only confident and ‘better’ after she lost a lot of weight. I didn’t really see that as a statement pushing that you’ll be a better person if you’re skinnier, but instead losing the weight helped her boost her confidence so that she realized for the first time what kind of person she already was. It also went along with her gain of control with going from a Princess married off to someone respected by many.

The ending of this book, while there was a pretty shocking part to me with the love interest, ties everything off into a nice bow while still leaving room for more adventures and turmoil for Elisa.

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