Monday, September 10, 2012

Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Title: The Girl of Fire and Thorns
Author: Rae Carson
Series: Fire and Thorns #1
Publisher: Greenwillow
Release Date: September 20, 2011
ISBN13:  9780062026484
Format: hardcover
Genre: YA, fantasy
Source: borrowed from library

Rating: 9/10

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.

To be honest, I wasn't expecting much from The Girl of Fire and Thorns the first time I read it, thinking that it'd be another overrated fantasy. At first, it was a bit slow and I was like, "Alright, this'll just be a casual read, nothing special."


I was so, so wrong.

Elisa, at first, is an unattractive second-born of the royal family. She's not cut out to be a ruler, unlike her perfectly intelligent elder sister who she can never live up to. She's supposed to be the chosen one, but if she can't even be better than her sister, how can she complete a her destined task? Right at the beginning of the story, she's married off to the king of a neighbouring kingdom, who is kind but wouldn't even acknowledge their wedding in his castle.  Not that her family could complain; they're days away. To add insult to injury, he has a mistress that everyone seems to know about.  The people of the court, not aware of the fact that the foreign Princess of Orovalle is the queen, gossip about pretty much anything to do with her: her looks, purpose at court, why she resides in the late queen's chambers etc. So other than her strain under sibling rivalry, she has to deal with a husband who pretends they're not together, and hundreds of eyes watching her every move. So basically, life sucks for Elisa.

The only bright thing at the palace is the presence of the spoiled prince who seems to like her, and a guard/bodyguard/something, Lord Hector, who respects her. And that's just the beginning.

So approximately a third of the way into the book, things start getting interesting, so if you think, "Hell, this is boring. I'll stop reading," please try to continue reading. I won't guarantee that you'll like it, but I was not disappointed. So, just so you know, pretty much everything from here on is spoilery, because like I said, this is where things start picking up. So this is where things get really awesome. Like SUPER MEGA ÜBER EPICALLY AWESOME.


Another cool thing about The Girl of Fire and Thorns? It has some bits of Spanish interjected into it, so if you know Spanish, it's kinda cool to read those little bits. Unfortunately, I'm taking French so I had to use a lot of Google Translate for this.

Anyways, after that you clearly see take this 180-degree change, and take charge like a warrior princess, or rather, queen.

Highlight to view spoiler I really have to add this in. Alejandro is not as much of a butthead afterwards, and for those of you that've read the book, you'd see Humberto as a friendzoned kind of guy, but really feel for him. After he dies in Elisa's place, Elisa doesn't get time to mourn him, and soon afterwards Alejandro takes a similar fate. Both of Elisa's love interests die, even though she couldn't really do much with Humberto seeing how she was married and had a simple friendship with Alejandro. I'm very glad for Humberto respecting Elisa's marriage status instead of saying, "To hell with it," and doing whatever, and at the same time very happy for Alejandro for being a friend to Elisa, which is a heck of a lot better than nothing.

Overall, The Girl of Fire and Thorns is an amazing read for not just fantasy fans but also lovers of other genres, and I'd place a very high recommendation on it.

If you like this, you might like:
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal
Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder
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