The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Book cover of The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson.
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson (Fire and Throns #1)
Publisher: Greenwillow
Format: eBook
Genre: High Fantasy, Young Adult
Publication Date: 20 September, 2011
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

Gently, I reach forward and close her eyes with my fingertips, hoping it will make her seem merely asleep. But the stillness of sleep is nothing at all like the stillness of death.
-Elisa, The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Holy adventure batman!
I sure loved this book. It's the first book in a pretty long time, to keep me in all day reading. I began reading it yesterday morning, and just couldn't stop until I had finished it that night.

This story showed itself to be unique from the very first page. It's not very often that you know who the main character ends up marrying from page one--at least, it doesn't happen very often in YA. But I found this to be an ingenious plot point that carried the story into interesting territory. A lot happened in ways that I did not expect, and I was constantly being surprised by what I was reading. There are many subjects brought up, and events that take place, that are *almost* taboo--especially to include in the first book of a series. Similar to George R.R. Martin's personal brand of fan torture, absolutely no one is safe. And yet Rae Carson has made it all work extremely well for the story...somehow hooking me totally and completely.

Okay, maybe not 'somehow' hooking me, because I know exactly how it was done: the characterizations. I just love how the characters are constantly changing and evolving. The main character starts out as a repressed princess, but slowly becomes the strong and courageous leader she was meant to be. She's only 16 years old, yet it is apparent that she was raised with a knowledge of leadership and responsibility. She doesn't always have the answers, but she takes the time to think about possible solutions, and how each will affect people, instead of acting rashly. The secondary characters evolve during the story as well, turning from enemies to friends (or vice versa), or from cowardly to brave. They turned out to be fantastic characters that I wanted to keep reading about.

The only downside I can see the this story is this: There is a lot of religious talk. While it's not necessarily a downside for me, some of it gets a bit fanatical, and I can see how/why others have mentioned being upset with it. But to me, it didn't read like preaching AT ALL. Instead, it read just like a story of how history went down, including the motives behind all parties' actions. If, you know, this were actually our world.

Overall, Rae Carson's fantastic writing, and creation of a world you can immerse yourself in, has landed this book on my favorites shelf. I wholeheartedly recommend it!

Fever Meter - Absolute Favorite
Temp. Guide
Read this if:
...you like adventure and crave great characterizations, and an original plot.

Content Warning
*This section may contain some spoilers about content!*
Highlight between the brackets to reveal the text.
{Violence, death, murder, brief descriptions of people who have been tortured or tormented by enemy hands, the King and his Mistress' affair is a major plot point (though never discussed in detail), and some brief yet cryptic references to rape.}

Other Books in the Series:

Purchase The Girl of Fire and Thorns:
Rae Carson:
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  1. Sounds awesome. I've been on a little reading down time. I can't seem to really get into anything lately, but this sounds like just the thing it would take to get me interested again!


  2. I'm so glad that you loved this! I just bought it and hope to read it very soon.

  3. This is one of those books I HAD to have! I went out and bought it right when it was released...now it just sits on my shelf unread. I hate when that happens. I think my expectations get so high that I psyche myself out. I always feel like I need to take a step back and wait for the expectations to calm down, you know? Anywho, I really should be about ready to read this one.

  4. I have somehow been able to overlook this novel. I am not sure why. I have seen people talk about how good it is. But for some reason I thought it just wasn't for me. But this looks really great. I am kicking myself that I haven't read it before now. Thanks for the review it was exactly what I needed.

    Sara @ Just Another Story

  5. I loved this one too! I especially loved the fact that our MC wasn't some barbie doll like figure. Great review!

    Skyway Avenue Reads


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