The Girl of Fire and Thorns
by Rae Carson
Series: Fire and Thorns #1
Published: September 20, 2011
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover (423 pages)
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 beautiful, bittersweet, and refreshing fantasy novel. I found the plot, world, and characters to be far from cliche. The story was bold and I could tell that the author, Rae Carson, didn’t shy away from doing what the story needed. I only give five stars to books that keep me guessing and wow me with the ending and Girl of Fire and Thorns definitely did that. It had a great story arc and a nice, satisfying ending. The setting was beautiful. It was like someone put the languages of Spanish and French in a jar and mixed it up for the naming things and then set it all in a beautiful Middle Eastern location.
The plot had lots of intrigue. I had a tons of questions, lots of theories, but no obvious answers. Just the way I like it. As soon as I had a few theories of what I thought was going to happen, the plot would go in a new, interesting direction and I would, of course, be totally wrong. It’s just so much fun to read a book like that! More young adult novels should have a love story like this one. I found it to be realistic. There was no obvious love interest or instant chemistry. The pacing of the events in the novel were perfect. It never felt rushed or dragged to me.
Elisa was a unique main character. She deals with sexism, a forced marriage, being judged because she is overweight, and being hunted because she is the “chosen one”. She goes through quite the emotional and physical transformation because of the difficult and sad things that she experiences. Elisa was such an appealing main character because I could see her potential and I couldn’t wait to see if she ever realized it.
A theme throughout the book was faith and religion. One of Elisa’s strengths is her faith in God and in herself. I liked how the author showed that religion can bring strength to people, can be used to manipulate others, and can be twisted to fit people’s own ideas of how the world should be. It was thought provoking to me on how religion is viewed and used in our own lives.
I just have to talk to someone about the ending, so if you’ve read it already click the spoiler link. It’s a major spoiler though so don’t click if you’re going to read it. View Spoiler »I was quite shocked that both love interests in the love triangle actually died. That’s one resolution to a love triangle that I haven’t read yet! It was quite heartbreaking, actually and it really affected Elisa. « Hide Spoiler
Overall, it was intriguing, beautiful, unpredictable fantasy novel with a beautiful setting and a main character that I was rooting for.
Content Rating: Medium, for some violence and a few swear words.
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