The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson Book Review

Saturday, July 28, 2012 1:25 PM
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Publisher: Greenwillow
Release Date: September 20, 2011
424 pages, Fire and Thorns series
Rating: 4 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

“From the mouths of the innocents flows truth.” 
― Rae CarsonThe Girl of Fire and Thorns

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 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. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts
While The Girl of Fire and Thorns was a great read, it had a slow start. By start, I mean almost half the book. I don't know if I was in a funk, but it just took me awhile to get into this book. I tired easily of reading about Elisa's insecurities, her eating habits, and her difficulty to fit in. I felt the book truly started for me when she was kidnapped. 

Nonetheless, I loved how Elisa was not your stereotypical heroine. Not only was she overweight, but she really had to come far before she discovered herself. She did a complete 180 in The Girl of Fire and Thorns. I love watching the heroine's transformation in every fantasy book, and Elisa's newfound confidence and strength was so wonderful to hear about. Yes, she lost weight before she became confident, but I think that's understandable. Walking in the desert for months is going to do that to you. Plus, she still wasn't petite but she was fit. The message isn't about having to walk through a desert to lose weight in order to become who you need to be. The transformation started before Elisa even started losing weight. She changed not only in appearance but also in personality. 

I pitied Elisa time and time again. So much happens to her, but she still stands strong. I love that The Girl of Fire and Thorns offers so many twists and complex characters. You could hate a character and then love them later on or vice versa. The character development was still convincing though. Plus, the unpredictable romance was refreshing. Usually, there's a guy from the beginning that you know is going to be the romantic interest. It's indisputable. But this wasn't true for this book. 

Let me just say that Alejandro was one of my least favorite characters. I found him thoughtless, weak, indecisive, and neglectful. But he did have some redeemable qualities. As for the romantic interest, I would have liked some more scenes between the two lovebirds. The romance seemed to develop at such a fast pace, and more of a buildup would have been nice. But maybe that's just me. 

I was a little nervous about the monotheistic religion in The Girl of Fire and Thorns. I love fantasy that has polytheistic religions and tons of mythology. But while the religion is eerily similar to Christianity, it didn't become too preachy. It had its own unique elements, such as the Godstones and the animagi. The animagi were very formidable enemies. I wouldn't  want to come across one of them. 

Overall, this is a great read for fantasy lovers. I can't wait till the sequel The Crown of Embers which will be released September 18th. The prequel, The Shadow Cats: A Girl of Fire and Thorns Story, is already out. I will read it. It's actually on my Ipad already. It's really cheap and only about 65 pages. It tells the story of Alodia, the older sister of Elisa and the heir to the throne of Orovalle. 


Happy reading,

Courtney

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