The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
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.
Publishes in US: September 20th 2011 by Greenwillow
Genre: ya fantasy
Disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC (advanced review copy). I am not paid for this review, and my opinions in this review are mine, and are not effected by the book being free
Series? Yes, Fire and Thorns #1
The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2)
The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns, #3) both already published in US
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I wanted to read The Girl of Fire and Thorns because I had read so many good reviews about it. I avoided it at first because it sounded like the fantasy might be rooted pretty firmly in the political aspect and that is something that is often over my head in high fantasy. But I read several who are like me and still adored it, so decided to give it a go.
I liked Elisa immediately. The story starts on her 16th birthday and she is about to marry a king who she has never met. She tries to convince herself that he will be ugly, both to calm her nerves and to make herself dread it just a little bit less. That is a sense of her voice and narration, and it suited me well. I also liked that she was close with her ladies/servants. They mean more to her than just advice, or help getting ready, they are like another part of her family, ones that she trusts and confides in, who both try to make her see just how special she is.
The king Alejandro isn't bad, but I did balk at him keeping the marriage a secret once he gets back home. Given, they are attacked while traveling back to his kingdom. But still. I did appreciate that he didn't force intimacy and that he levels with her when she asks what he wants from her and he says a friend.
Elisa gets stronger, and realizes more about herself as the book progresses. She works with the religious leader to learn about the origins of her Godstone and prophecies. She is getting mixed in the politics, and trying to represent her home country and brings her expertise from studying war and religion texts in depth.
There was a set of characters that really surprised me. They were set up as the bad guys for a while, but the more time she spent with them, she learned about their beliefs and their motivations, and couldn't help but sympathize. Trust and respect was built between her and them, and really set some things in motion for the ending and into the next book. One of them died though, and it really threw me because I wasn't expecting it, and thought that it might have set up as more of a love triangle.
I def will be continuing with this series and am glad I gave it a try.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Have you ever felt like you were born for a specific purpose?