Monday, November 4, 2013

The Girl of Fire and Thorns

Author:  Rae Carson
Series:  Fire and Thorns, Book 1
Year:  2011
Publisher:  Greenwillow
Pages:  423

Goodreads Summary:
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.

Put most simply, I loved this book. It's a beautiful fantasy story with magnificent world building. But don't be thinking this is a typical YA novel. First off, the heroine of the story is lonely, depressed and (heaven forbid) fat. And although Elisa is super smart and friendly, she is susceptible to self-pity. But even when she's in this state, she doesn't hesitate to face her fears and fight the enemy to save those she cares about. And here's one of those places where Rae Carson shines. Instead of making her heroine completely humble, Elisa says things to the effect of: "well, yes, I did save your life."  But the most amazing part of the book is watching Elisa grow and accept herself and her spot in her world. And I love the twist at the end where Carson basically tells her audience that she's not writing some stereotypical YA love triangle. 


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