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....read more at Goodreads.
Monday, December 12, 2011
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
The Girl of Fire and Thorns
Rae Carson September 20th, 2011 432 pages (hardcover) Greenwillow Books Source: Netgalley and later Purchased for Kindle
Honestly, I originally read two chapters, said "meh" and then set the novel aside for the next three months. Obviously, I picked it back up again, and I am very glad that I did. The Girl of Fire and Thorns begins somewhat inauspiciously, where Carson introduces a heroine that complains too much and inspires too little confidence in her readers. Once 140+ pages pass and an important event takes place, the story comes to life. Elisa's wavering confidence grows. Her somewhat dull personality begins to take on more interesting facets, and she begins to accept herself and her purpose - making it easy to enjoy her character. I want to say so much more, but this is one of those stories you need to read for yourself so all the surprises aren't spoiled. The Girl of Fire and Thorns is rife with religion, political agendas, secrets, a dash of romance, and plenty of heart-pounding moments as Elisa tries to evade her enemies and draws closer to an impending war. Once you get into this story, there's no setting it aside. Highlights: It was easy to lose myself in the pages and tumble into the rich and vibrant world Carson created (that is, once the story really got going). Certain characters I did not originally care for became favorites by the end - like Cosmé, or even Elisa1. I loved the whole Malficio group, and Lord Hector. Carson wraps up Elisa's story almost completely and ends on a strong note2. Lowlights: Some predictability. Elisa at the beginning was difficult to like, to the point where I did set the novel aside. The first 100ish pages were, for the most part, a bit flat and hardly kept my attention. Rating: 1 I was actually surprised how many characters grew on me by the ending - that's rare. 2 Yay, for an actual resolution + only the slightest tease of the forthcoming sequel. Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Nobles / The Book Depository