“The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns #1)” by Rae Carson
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
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.
Elisa was interesting. I liked that she’s not the typical protagonist. She’s not pretty, she’s not thin, and she prefers taking the backseat so her sister can take on the royal duties. I hated that she was constantly complaining about herself though. It’s really not the end of the world because you don’t look like other girls. I would have much preferred if she looked the same but just embraced the fact that she’s different. Thankfully she does redeem herself through the story. She goes from being a sulky teenager to a strong leader of an army. What’s not to like about that?
I don’t know why it bothered me so much but I wasn’t thrilled by the fact that I couldn’t place where this story was taking place (or what religion was in the story). I know it’s stupid because I read other fantasy books that take place in other worlds or take place at an unknown location on Earth. Those don’t bother me. I guess it was the fact that this world was pretty similar to ours but just a bit different. It’s like the location was on the tip of my tongue but I couldn’t get it out.
I loved that the book felt a lot like the Graceling realm books. It has just a bit of fantasy to keep the story interesting. The heroine who slowly grows into herself and discovers how strong she really is. She might fall for a guy but she doesn’t need him to be complete. In fact she’s almost stronger without him. Very much like the Graceling books, the political aspect was really interesting but a bit difficult for me to fully grasp. I understood enough to keep me reading but I didn’t understand it well enough to explain it someone.
The bottom line? If you loved the fantasy and politics of the Graceling realm books, you’re sure to enjoy the Girl of Fire and Thorns.