Monday, October 20, 2014

GUEST REVIEW: THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS by Rae Carson




Title: The Girl of Fire and Thorns
Series: Fire and Thorns, #1
Author: Rae Carson
Publisher: Greenwillow
Publication Date: September 20, 2011
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Adventure
Reviewed by: Ellen Fritz
Ellen’s rating: 4/5

SUMMARY

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.




REVIEW

Having recently read several books in which beauty is given as the key to popularity and, ultimately, success, The Girl of Fire and Thorns, with its rather imperfect female lead, was a welcome and refreshing read. Obese and unfit princess Elisa is chosen as bearer of the Godstone; something that happens only once every century. After her politically arranged marriage to king Alejandro of Joya d'Arena, she finds herself involved in far more than just being the queen of a country on the brink of war.

Set in a fantasy world full of magic and prophecy, this book is a compelling, comfortably-paced story. Although it is full of adventure, lots of action and suspense, and some heartrending tragedy, the true magic of this book is in the characters and their interactions.

The main character, Elisa, is ordinary enough for most young girls to identify with. She is overweight, loves her food and comforts, and she is extremely unfit. Her intelligence and studious nature, however, are her main redeeming qualities. Besides her cleverness, she is loyal, brave, adaptable, and will do whatever it takes to save her people.

Other well fleshed out characters include Cosmé with her complex personality and ability to play multiple roles, as well as Rosario, the crown prince of Joya d'Arena. The clever yet always heartwarming way in which Elisa interacts with everybody who crosses her path, brings a profoundly humane element to this book. Although there is a lot of potential for romance, it is kept in the background of the actual story.

Despite the black magic, barbarism, human sacrifice and tragedy in this book, The Girl of Fire and Thorns is a clean, relaxing read with a lot of wisdom about having faith in oneself.








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ABOUT the AUTHOR


I write books about teens who must do brave things. I'm originally from California, but I moved to Ohio to marry my husband, who is the smartest and therefore sexiest man I know. We live in Columbus with my teenaged stepsons, who are awesome. My books tend to contain lots of adventure, a little magic and romance, and smart girls who make (mostly) smart choices. I especially love to write about questions I don't know the answers to.

  
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