Author: Rae Carson
Published: September 18th, 2012
Series: Girl of Fire & Thorns (#2)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Format: Kindle book; hardcover
Source: Purchased both
"In the sequel to the acclaimed The Girl of Fire and Thorns, a seventeen-year-old princess turned war queen faces sorcery, adventure, untold power, and romance as she fulfills her epic destiny.
Elisa is the hero of her country. She led her people to victory against a terrifying enemy, and now she is their queen. But she is only seventeen years old. Her rivals may have simply retreated, choosing stealth over battle. And no one within her court trusts her-except Hector, the commander of the royal guard, and her companions. As the country begins to crumble beneath her and her enemies emerge from the shadows, Elisa will take another journey. With a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with, Elisa crosses the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone's power. That is not all she finds. A breathtaking, romantic, and dangerous second volume in the Fire and Thorns trilogy."
Incredible, exciting, surprising, and captivating: THE CROWN OF EMBERS is everything a sequel should aspire to be. Authors should take note of Carson's approach, because sequels (unfortunately) tend to be underwhelming in the YA universe. Carson, however, takes charge of her story by creating an exciting and sometimes terrifying story that makes it impossible for readers to stop turning the pages. Elisa may be queen, and a hero because of her actions in the first novel, but she's far from beloved and safe in this sequel. For Elisa, her story has only just begun. I will keep this review spoiler-free, because this is one story you will want to read for yourself. Just when you think you've figured out everything, Carson pulls a few more tricks out of her sleeve. THE CROWN OF EMBERS proves itself to be more than expected - it's a thrilling fantasy adventure with the perfect dose of romance and humor.
Highlights: I thought Elisa went through a large amount of character growth in the first book, but she really goes through so much more in this sequel. The stakes are higher, the danger more imminent, and Elisa is coming to terms with becoming the queen she wants to be and the queen her kingdom needs. Everything about this novel is entrancing and exciting - I hardly set this book down once I started reading. Plus, this book was so fabulous that I purchased it again so I could own it as a hardcover (I do not do this very often). And the romance1! Also, side characters (such as Belen) develop more in the this story.
Lowlights: The not-so-happy ending. And the wait for book three is frustrating, too.
Cover: I've never been overly fond of the covers for this trilogy, but in person, they look so much better (especially this one, it is gorgeous in real life). I love how the title pops with the gold - it looks amazing when it catches the light.
 FINALLY. I'm very fond of Elisa's romantic interest in this novel.