24 April 2016

The Girl of Fire & Thorns by Rae Carson

Publication: 2011
# of Pages:  423
Source: Library Copy 

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.

As I'm writing this review I noticed that this is the first time I'm at a loss for words about a book. I don't know where to begin about this novel except by listing the things I loved about it. 

Character development was the best if not the strongest aspect of this novel. The main character Elisa goes from this insecure and unsure little girl to a powerful and strong woman. It was just truly amazing to see her change from someone who loathed themselves to someone who had pride in who they were. It's so difficult to find such powerful characterization in young adult literature, a book where the reader gets the opportunity to grow and change the main character. 

The next best thing about this book was definitely the plot. It was fast paced and contained some really interesting elements including those related to the godstone. I did not expect so many complications to arise from such a small stone in Elisa's navel. By putting so much responsibility on the bearer of the stone, Carson created many diverse elements including the creation of the Inviernos. Even the world building is complex. There are so many different kingdoms and sects of people that the reader is introduced to these new cultures and manners of living. These different kingdoms clash and also work together when the time is necessary and I truly enjoyed that. No aspect of this story, more specifically the plot, proved to be boring. It was a page-turner that ultimately left me wanting more. 

The only aspect of this book that I found boring was Alejandro's character. He was weak and proved to be somewhat of a coward until the very end. Although I think his character was necessary in forcing Elisa to become more confident in herself and her ability to rule, I was particularly annoyed every time I read a scene in which he was present. 

Fair warning to all who read this series. Rae Carson shows no mercy and does not hold back from her ability to pick and choose who she wants too live and who she wants to die. I found myself getting extremely attached to characters only to lose them. I realize that it's all necessary for the advancement of the plot, but it was definitely unpredictable. 

This book was absolutely mesmerizing and beautifully written. If you are interested in young adult fantasy I would definitely give this trilogy a try. 



  1. I love this series. Elisa development over the course of all three books is one of my favorite things about it. The world-building is on point as well. I'm glad you enjoyed this first book and hope you continue. The second book is actually my favorite in the series. Great review!

    1. I absolutely loved the second book! I'm glad you liked the review. :)