The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Posted by Caitie F on October 8, 2012
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.
I have read a lot of great reviews of this book and had to pick it up. For the most part, those reviews were spot on.
Elisa is a fantastic main character. It would seem hard to feel sorry for a princess, but I had a lot of empathy for her situation of feeling never good enough because she was always in the shadow of her beautiful, perfect older sister. Being chosen must not be easy, especially when you don’t know what you have been chosen for or why.
I don’t like that she doesn’t seem to think highly of herself and just labels herself by the way she looks and the Godstone. She is brilliant and brave from the beginning, so it was frustrating to see her at first. It felt like she was saying she wasn’t good enough because she was fat and that made me very uncomfortable, especially since it seemed that part of her new confidence wasn’t just because of what she did, but how she looked. As her character grew, the enjoyment of the book grew. I couldn’t put it down and had to know what Elisa is going to save herself and others.
I really thought all of the secondary characters brought out the best is Elisa and challenged how she thought. They never felt flat and I really enjoyed learning more about how the kingdom and fantasy world functioned. It reminded me of other set ups for fantasy novels, but the world had some unique twists that made it distinctive. I actually really liked how the book ended and it could have been a stand alone novel, but the world is so intriguing that I am glad there are two more books there. I hope to find out more about how magic functions and hope there is more to the Godstone.
Though the Godstone and the religious aspects of the book are what bothered me the most. The blind faith of everyone involved seemed irritating. No one seemed to question the faith or that the Godstone was ever good, though they had plenty of reasons to do so. It was just unrealistic and kind of irritating and ridiculous. Someone would be a skeptic and since it seemed that no one was, I thought the book was good, not great.
I would recommend it and lok forward to the next book!