THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS
By Rae Carson
Hardcover, 424 pages
Published: September 20th 2011 by Greenwillow
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.
Since I have been on a recent fantasy kick I decided to go into my TBR pile and I selected THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS by Rae Carson. I was well advised that I would enjoy this novel so I plunged into it. Yet, I found that upon finishing this adventurous read I could not seem to entirely favor it as much as I would have believed.
This novel starts off well enough showcasing the protagonist Princess Elisa, a chosen being who carries the god stone within her very being. Yet, despite how magical this all sounds she is initially painted in an less than favorable manner, always hungry and a bit on the fluffy side. Which is never an issue with me, but it was continually brought up during the first half of this novel and that bothered me. Then an act changes everything and soon begins the slow metamorphosis of Elisa from a pampered and sheltered princess to a queen of a kingdom and a great cause. Along the way Elisa will gain the respect and honor of her people but at a great cost to her heart, body and soul.
Rae Carson did a fine job of creating a world that was unique with distinct elements of magic and a good dose of fervent prayer. Another aspect that I enjoyed about this story was the detail to food, this was so well done that I could almost taste what was being written about. This story also hosts a great about of twists and turns that keeps the adventure level on a constant spin.
I was intrigued about the god stones but was curious as to how they were placed within the "chosen one" and how it's ability seemed rooted in religious service yet it had a power that was sought after by much darker forces. I did not get all the answers that I was searching for, but I did enjoy this novel enough to keep going. One of those main reasons for that was because of Elisa's quiet yet dauntless manner. She may have been afraid but she never let her stop from trying and ultimately it changed her for the better. This novel also hosted a great many characters that were memorable and some quite endearing and I enjoyed how they all added a bit of depth to it's storyline.
Despite my few minor issues that I cannot completely divulge due to being spoilerific, I believe that this series has great promise. The heroine is strong with an ability that is not totally tapped into and I am curious to see what will happen next. Luckily for me I will not have to wait long to find out.
Audiobook review: AUDIBLE
The reader for this book is Jennifer Ikeda and she is the same reader for the Deborah Harkness' Discovery of Witches series. I really enjoy Jennifer's work because she has a beautiful speaking voice that is very clear and distinct. She is also marvelous with accents of which this novel does find frequent use of. I highly recommend that if you choice to read this that you try it on audible.