Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

The Girl of Fire and Thorns
Rae Carson
423 pgs, 2011

Summary from Goodreads

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.

My Thoughts
I don’t read much fantasy.  It’s just not my cup of tea and this one didn’t do much for me either (although did finish it).  There were elements of the story that I really enjoyed and found refreshing, but overall I just felt like something was missing.

Elisa is an unusual protagonist.  She’s not very confident.  She’s overweight.  She eats when she’s stressed or embarrassed.  But she was chosen to bear the Godstone, a responsibility she doesn’t want, but was given by God (essentially at her Christening –I can’t remember what it was called in the book).
I liked that the main character was so realistic – I can definitely relate to emotional eating, but it still fell back on some YA clichés.  Main character is a girl who isn’t anything special, doesn’t feel attractive, but somehow still attracts men and is the leader who saves the day.  The men in the book are definitely a backstory with is nice, but none of them are particularly well fleshed out.  My favorite relationships in the book were those between Elisa and her attendants and between Elisa and her stepson. 
The writing was a notch above what I expect from YA and Carson did an excellent job of allowing the reading to see the foreign lands without making them feel like they are constantly reading description.

My Rating
Enjoyability (2.5 out of 5 stars)
Relationships (2.5 out of 5 stars)
Writing (4 out of 5 stars)

This book will stay with me for a year.  Max. I don’t think anything about it will compel me to reread.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not big on fantasy either, though sometimes I find a good one. This doesn't sound like it would be one of those, though.