Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Girl Of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: Fire and Thorns #1
Copyright: September 2011
Pages: 432
Book Source: ARC HarperTeen & NetGalley

Synopsis: 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 needs 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.

The Girl Of Fire and Thorns is a coming of age story, rich fantasy embroidered with magic, adventure, rebellion, betrayal and just a touch of romance.

I liked that Elisa wasn't a 'typical' heroine, she's overweight, easily manipulated and full of self doubt but she's also the chosen one, the bearer of the Godstone, destined for heroic service. Over the course of the story Elisa comes into her own; she recognises her inner strength as she faces adversity and slowly grasps the magnitude of her potential.  She's smart, quick-witted and brave and from a readers  point of view, very easy to cheer on.

The one thing I found a bit monotonous was the frequent references to Elisa's weight or loss of. I was aware of her insecurities from the get-go and thought the constant reminders where unnecessary.

Carson serves up a colourful cast of characters, I really enjoyed the revolutionaries Humberto & Cosme, nursemaid Ximena and I hope Ms Carson plans on giving us more Lord Hector.

Alongside the author's vivdly crafted world is another positive, she doesn't shy away from dealing out some tough love to these wonderful characters or giving the reader a WOAH ... didn't see that one coming!

An exhilarating debut fantasy, well paced and the ending ... it's good! We're not left hanging by our fingernails for the next installment but quietly anticipating book 2 of the Fire & Thorns trilogy, The Crown of Embers.

Want to know more about Rae Carson? ~ Visit her website.


  1. This is one of my favorite books of 2011. I really liked that there were some unexpected surprises. Too many times I think authors are afraid to take risks like that and I'm glad she did. It made the story more heartfelt and believable. I agree with you that Elisa's weight issues are mentioned a lot. I do wish she'd felt more confident before the weight loss because she was so brave and she had such strength of character.

    I do believe that Rae Carson said Lord Hector will be around a lot in the sequel. I can't wait to see where she takes the story next. Great review!

  2. I got this from Netgalley and then missed the deadline. Eep! Might have to buy it now.

  3. I wanted this one, but did not recognize the cover :(

    Cos it sounds really great and something that i would like

  4. Interesting premise for this one. I too would get a bit weary of the weight issue, but it sounds like the story made up for all of that!

  5. Oh I love the sound of this. For second there was a briff Buffy flash back but sounds like the whole chosen one thing is about as similar as it gets. Right will put this on my kindle "wishlist". Thanks for the review.

    I'm glad the "harping" about her weight didnt wreck the whole book. I do find it annoying when an author fixates on repeating something over and over. But sounds like it didn't ruin the book for you so I am still keen to give it a go.

  6. I've heard a lot of good things about this book. I just can't seem to remember if I added it to my to-read list. Off to go check!

    I like not-normal protagonists/heroines. It usually makes for a great story!


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