Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
Posted by Caitie F on January 10, 2013
Elisa is the hero of her country. She led her people to victory against a terrifying enemy, and now she is their queen. But she is only seventeen years old. Her rivals may have simply retreated, choosing stealth over battle. And no one within her court trusts her-except Hector, the commander of the royal guard, and her companions. As the country begins to crumble beneath her and her enemies emerge from the shadows, Elisa will take another journey. With a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with, Elisa crosses the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone’s power. That is not all she finds.
I knew I wanted to read this eventually, but my friend Caryn was raving about it so I moved it way up on my list. I liked the first one quite a bit, and the second book in the series was just as awesome.
The book is very exciting! It is really hard to put the book down and Rae Carson ends chapters with excitement and cliffhangers that make you have to keep reading. It isn’t just great action though, all of the characters have grown due to what happened in the last book. This is an issue with some young adult series, but not this one. Elisa has grown into a mature young woman struggling with leading a country, protecting herself from enemies outside and within her castles walls, and trying to find a husband that will be good for the country and for her.
Elisa also sees the consequences of her actions. especially in relation to those closest to her and starts taking that responsibility to heart. Those closest to her also grow. We get to learn more about Hector’s life before coming to the guard and her hand-maiden who gives her some much-needed friendly girl advice. There are also some new villains and some old traitors that are hoping to redeem themselves. All around, it is a more complex story than the first and they stakes are just as high, if not higher.
She also finds an amazing new power her Godstone gives her. It is especially awesome because it shows how far she is willing to go to help others. She is tempted in new ways and has to make extremely difficult decisions.
The last thing I really loved was that some little details from the first book came back into play for this book and it didn’t seem like any characters were forgotten. Everything from the first book actually mattered and had consequences. I have a lot of hope for the next book.
This is a great story and series. I want to rave about it for pages, but I think you get the point. If you haven’t read it yet, you should really start this series. It is the perfect cross over between older young adult and adult because Elisa is older and is dealing with issues that adults can relate to also.