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Book Review: The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

The Crown of Embers is everything I wanted in more as the second book in The Girl of Fire and Thorns sequel. Now…only a year left till the final book! Agh!!

Book Review: The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

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the crown of embers rae carson

Title & Author: The Crown of Embers (Girl of Fire and Thorns) by Rae Carson

Genre: YA Fantasy – Epic

Release Date: September 18, 2012

Series: #2 in Girl of Fire and Thorns series

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

How I Got the Book: Bought


“In the sequel to the acclaimed The Girl of Fire and Thorns, a seventeen-year-old princess turned war queen faces sorcery, adventure, untold power, and romance as she fulfills her epic destiny.

Elisa is the hero of her country. She led her people to victory against a terrifying enemy, and now she is their queen. But she is only seventeen years old. Her rivals may have simply retreated, choosing stealth over battle. And no one within her court trusts her-except Hector, the commander of the royal guard, and her companions. As the country begins to crumble beneath her and her enemies emerge from the shadows, Elisa will take another journey. With a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with, Elisa crosses the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone’s power. That is not all she finds. A breathtaking, romantic, and dangerous second volume in the Fire and Thorns trilogy.”

Elisa’s Back and She’s Better Than Ever

It’s a dangerous thing to call books perfect, but as far as sequels go, The Crown of Embers hit the mark. First of all, it doesn’t even come off as a sequel.

There’s references to The Girl of Fire and Thorns, but not as much as I expected. Carson keeps it very “present” – which means that Elisa is in as much trouble as ever.

She’s taken the reigns over her former husband’s kingdom and prepares to rule. The only problem is, the Inviernes, a people with dark magic, are trying to take down her kingdom. Oh and someone tries to kill Elisa. And, also she realizes she has to marry for political gain.

Yeah…not TOO much going on for the new queen.

Like I said, Carson manages to make The Crown of Embers feel like a first book. There’s new characters again and new cross-country adventures, yet she builds on tough situations and struggles that Elisa and her people were facing before. I don’t know how Carson does it, but I’m so glad she did!

Religion – Making it Work in YA Fiction

One of the other wonders that Carson delivers in The Crown of Embers is religion. Elisa’s godstone – the powerful sign she is chosen to bring about God’s will that is located in her belly button. Through this connection, Elisa can pray and feel God’s presence and will and feel if she’s in danger.

Although it doesn’t really come off this way, The Crown of Embers is very spiritual. Elisa often prays and reads the holy scriptures. She trusts and takes leaps of faith based on what she feels God is telling her.

This type of faith portrayed in this type of way is not only a rarity in young adult fiction, but in young adult fantasy. I have to be honest – I really loved it! I have a strong personal faith and I thought this aspect of the book was so refreshing and new to see.

I also don’t think that if you’re not spiritual or religious that this element of the book would get in the way of the overall awesomeness of it. Elisa’s religion always plays a part in the movement and progression of the story and isn’t function-less in the slightest.


I won’t be shy about it – I LOVED this book. Carson develops such interesting characters with so many wonderfully real flaws and strengths. I cannot wait for the final book in this series, The Bitter Kingdom. I have zero doubts Carson will deliver once again. The Crown of Embers has absolutely made it on my Best Books of 2012 list.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.