Monday, March 25, 2013

Mini-Review: THE CROWN OF EMBERS by Rae Carson

Author: Rae Carson
Published: September 18th, 2012
Series: Girl of Fire & Thorns (#2)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 410
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.

[1] FINALLY. I'm very fond of Elisa's romantic interest in this novel.



  1. Elisa really has a lot going on in this one and I was afraid she was going to retreat into the scared little girl she was at the beginning of book one. I wouldn't have blamed her, actually. But she steps up and, even though her people don't realize it, she's the queen they need. Can't wait for book three!

  2. I liked this book but still kind of prefer the first one over this. I like her love interest but I thought the story focused a little too much on the romance at one point in the story. It is a strong sequel though. And that ending! I just got an ARC of The Bitter Kingdom from Edelweiss. So excited to read it but I will probably wait till closer to the release date of the book. I know I will be buying the e-book to add to my shelves. This is one final book that I am not worried about (unlike Reached which disappointed me and Requiem which I have a feeling will disappoint me too). I know I will be sad when the story is over too. Great review!

  3. I haven't read any of these books! I need to get on them it seems :) Glad to see you loved it, and I'll definitely be adding Rae Carson's books to my To-Read shelf

  4. Ah, I love to hear when the excitement of a series can hold up through it's sequel. Sequels are tough, but it sounds like Carson really knows how to keep it strong! I haven't started this series, but hearing that you love it so much definitely makes me want to!

  5. Glad you enjoyed this one! I agree with you about the's making it so hard to wait for book three! Lovely mini-review :-)

  6. YEAH LEAH!!! I so adored this book too! I agree on Elisa's growth, for all that we got off to a rough start in book one, she's matured so much and become a heroine I'm rooting for with every fiber of my being. Also, can we talk about Hector in this book? LOVE HIM!

  7. Aww, this review actually made me a bit sad because I have yet to read this series and now I feel like I am missing out on something amazing. I just KNOW that I would love this one as much as you did, based on your description. Must make time to read this someday!! Fantastic review, Lea!

  8. I actually didn't like this one as much because I thought it was a bit slow but the ending was pretty great and I love how it sets us up for a lot in book 3!