Monday, February 18, 2013

Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns

The Girl of Fire and Thorns, by Rae Carson. The GoodReads summary:
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.
You may or may not recall my whining in my review of Shadow and Bone about YA trilogies resolving the romance in the first book. So I broke out in a little happy dance (only figuratively speaking, sadly) when I got to the end of this book and found that, hallelujah, the romance is left wide open. Plenty of room for blessed development in the next books. So I’m holding on to high hopes that it’ll be Hector in the end—although he needs to shave that creepy mustache for sure.

Elisa was a bit of a mixed bag for me in terms of a main character. I didn’t specifically admire or like her, but I didn’t specifically dislike her either. I did enjoy, however, watching her character growth over the course of the book. She's kinda pathetic and self-pitying in the beginning, but she grows stronger and more courageous little by little as she rises to meet each new challenge. So I give her kudos for that.

One of the coolest things about the book was the setting. I think it’s supposed to be loosely based on South America? Maybe? Anyway, there’s a definite Spanish flair to it, which I was not expecting. Usually this kind of epic fantasy takes place in Europe-influenced settings, so it was totally refreshing to have it take place somewhere completely different.

The one thing that didn’t work for me in this book is the whole godstone idea. Elisa has this stone in her stomach that designates her as God’s chosen and serves as a link to him. I felt that it gave the book more of a religious overtone than I like, since Elisa’s always praying and thinking about God and stuff. I realize that’s totally my personal prejudice against religion in fiction showing through, but, well, it still bothered me. Plus, I feel like the godstone gave Elisa the easy way out a few too many times—she was able to rely on God to save her rather than having to save herself.

Overall, it was a decent read. Not a book I fell totally in love with or anything, but still, it did quite a few things well enough that I’ll probably read the next books sometime.

Rating: 3.5 / 5


  1. So many people are raving about this series as the next book has just been released but I am not keen to start another series with a love triangle :(

  2. I really liked this first book although I thought the second one was a bit slow so be warned if/when you do pick it up.


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