Monday, February 18, 2013

Book Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Title:  The Girl of Fire and Thorns
Author:  Rae Carson
Series:  Fire & Thorns #1
Genre:  YA fantasy
Pages:  423

Rating:  A

Synopsis from  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 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

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Girl of Fire and Thorns was a great read, with all of the best parts of the fantasy genre - adventure, romance, battles, magic, prophecies.  The plot wasn't always fast-paced, but it was still so exciting and interesting that I didn't mind the parts that slowed down a bit.

One of my favorite aspects of the whole book was the main character, Elisa.  She's definitely an atypical fantasy heroine.  Elisa starts out her adventure as a shy, overweight bookworm who doesn't feel ready for her new marriage or for the act of service she's been chosen to do.  She's a reluctant heroine from the very beginning.  I love how her character grows throughout the book, as she deals with political intrigue, war, and romance.

I thought the author did a very good job incorporating her world's religion into the story without it ever getting either preachy or anti-religious.  The setting is similar to Old World Spain in the days of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand, and the religious aspect of the story seems to match the Spanish Catholic church of that age, minus the Inquisition and the magic/sorcery of course.  After all, in real life, God never put big jewels in the belly-buttons of those He chose to be His prophets.

There was some romance in the book as well.  Considering what happens during the book, I honestly think poor Elisa should just not fall in love ever.  It doesn't seem to work out well for her.  Although, I think I have a feeling where the series is heading as far as Elisa's love life is concerned, but I may be wrong.  Especially since I wasn't expecting the way the romances in this book turned out at all.

Overall, Girl of Fire and Thorns was a great first book to a series with lots of excitement and adventure, as a well as a nice balance of politics and romance.  And best of all, the story has a main character who isn't a perfect Mary-sue; she's imperfect and honest about who she is.  Definitely looking forward to the next book.  A

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