The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Published: September 20th 2011 by Greenwillow
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’ve had this book on my TBR for years now. Literally. Now that I’ve read it, I’m kind of kicking myself about the fact that I didn’t pick up a copy sooner! I really enjoyed myself reading this book and I am really excited for the sequel! I did put this down 3/4 of the way through because my copy of ACOWAR came through, but I had no issues picking the book back up and diving right back into it! It was easy to follow, easy to remember and fun in general!
I think my favourite thing about this book was Elisa. Usually in YA fantasy, the heroine is athletic, thin, doesn’t eat a lot and is strong in general. Elisa is the complete opposite and we watch her transition through the book, changing throughout whilst keeping her core qualities the same! Elisa is described as fat at the beginning of the book. She is overweight, she knows she’s overweight and, whilst she may like the fact that she’s overweight, she doesn’t do anything about it. She loves food and she knows it and it’s something that doesn’t change throughout the book. She struggles to walk around – let alone do exercise (which she doesn’t actually do and scoffs at the idea as well). I think this is what endeared me to her the most. I am one of the many women out there who is slightly overweight (thanks to having a baby), I know I’m overweight, I don’t like my body, but the idea of exercise is abhorrent and I love food… in particular sweet stuff. So, for me, as a reader, Elisa called to me on another level that I could understand and empathise with. Elisa becomes fitter when she is forced to track through the desert – but she is still not the fittest heroine out there. She was also meek and mild at the beginning of the book, which, under the right influence and with the right people around her, she became stronger and more decisive. I loved watching her grow as a character and I cannot wait to see what the next books have in store for her!
Alejandro is the man Elisa marries at the beginning of the book as part of a deal. Whilst they had never met before, Alejandro seemed quite nice on the surface, but I honestly could never see them falling in love. Whilst Elisa was quite fickle and hopeful – which quickly dissipated later in the story – Alejandro started to show his true colours with his indecisiveness. HE was a flaky king at best, and he was a very good decision maker. People had to keep pushing him and pushing him to make decisions. I didn’t really like the way he treated Elisa… Having said that, we only really get to see him at the beginning and at the end of the book.
Cosme is a character that really surprised me. I wasn’t expecting her to be anything more than the annoying, huffy maid she was painted to be at the beginning of the book – but her character had so many more layers than that! I loved getting to know Cosme more throughout the book, with all her talents and skills and who she was in general! She turned out to be one of my favourite characters and I hope we get to see more of her later in the series!
I am not going to lie, I didn’t ship any of the ships that were presented to us! Alejandro I struggled with, and I didn’t feel fire or passion with Humberto. I didn’t feel like either one was really suited to Elisa! I actually think that Lord Hector and Elisa could have a shot of being a good ship because they have been getting to know each other the most and I quite like them both when they are in each others company! Hopefully this ship will sail…
Whilst I quite liked the plot, I felt like it was too religion based. I’m personally not a religious person, so the stone being in Elisa’s navel (the Godstone) because she is God’s chosen one and He was guiding her etc. and the constant praying was a little too much? I was expecting more magic and sorcery and stuff. I also feel like the plot was a little overshadowed by Elisa’s character development. However, the plot as a whole was fun and easy to follow and I am excited to see where it is going to lead us next!
All in all, I really enjoyed this book. It did have its flaws, but it was easy to follow and a relatively quick read! I am looking forward to starting the next instalment. I gave this book 4/5 stars.