Sep 20, 2011

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

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
(Fire and Thorns, #1)
Release Date: September 20, 2011
Publisher: Greenwillow Books; 432 pages
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 needs 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.

I really enjoyed this book. A lot. I wanted to throw it across the room twice. It broke my heart on more than one occasion but it made Elisa stronger for it. The Show-And-Tell factor (as I've seen others call it) bothers me. As a reader, you don't want to be told how someone is, like her husband King Alejandro, you want to be able to "see" it. Telling me he's not brave is so much different than showing me he isn't brave. From reading other reviews I see that this is the biggest complaint from this book and I definitely agree. I mean, reading a book is all about us imagining it not being told everything, you know?

The story was amazing. I had trouble putting it down because I was so interested in what was going to happen next. I loved the characters just as much. She definitely had no problem creating an intriguing plot line or characters to make the story flow better. What also blew my mind was here you have this young character, Elisa, who was wedded off to another Kingdom with no say in the matter. What makes the situation worse she's been living in the shadow of her older sister. Her sister you can see as a leader and a great one as that. Elisa is just a normal 16 year old girl (well as normal as one can be for being a princess) and thrown into this world she never imagined herself. Yet, she's never done anything spectualar or rememberable, as her sister has but she was chosen by God for a greater good. Many times she questions his judgement but the growth you see Elisa endure throughout this novel is remarkable. You look at her in the first chapter and then turn around to look at her in the final chapter, you'd never expect its the same, young Elisa. If she's grown this much in just the first installment, who knows what we'll see from her in the next. :)

I'm not a religious person so at first I thought I would get annoyed with the religious factor of this story, but it never once bothered me. It's not like the author is trying to push a religion on you (which I've seen in other books) but its just another factor to the story.

*highlight to view spoiler* [Though killing off both love interests pissed me off beyond belief. However, I'm rooting for a Hector/Elisa union...they are amazing when they're together!] *spoiler*

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