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Fantasy Book Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

The Girl of Fire and Thorns is a new young adult fantasy book that I fell in love with!

Book Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

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Fantasy Book The Girl of Fire and Thorns

Title & Author: The Girl of Fire and Thornsby Rae Carson

Genre: YA- Fantasy book

Release Date: September 20, 2011

Series: 1st in a trilogy

Publisher:Greenwillow Books

How I Got the Book: ARC via NetGalley

Description: “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, and 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 her to be 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’ssavior, 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.”

A Balanced + Exciting Fantasy

A lot of teen fantasy books I’ve read recently have been unbalanced. It’s either all romance, all action or all angst (ahem, Firelight & Vanish). The Girl of Fire and Thorns blends these elements in a different and fascinating way. It was a refreshing read and gave me a reprieve from the books I’m trying to take a break from reading.

The character development in this book is amazing. The protagonist, Elisa, begins as an insecure girl who doubts her ability to be a princess and a future queen. At first, I wasn’t sure what to make of her, but as I read, I loved Elisa more and more. She’s brave and kind and funny. And, most importantly, she discovers herself and her purpose. The person she becomes by the end of the book is both believable and authentic.

Also, it shocks me to say this, but: The Girl of Fire and Thorns does not necessarily end how I originally would have liked, but I’m honestly OK with that. It actually ends in a better way that what I imagined. My heart got trampled on, but the story is fantasyic enough to hold everything together without making me cry for the injustice of it all.

It Has an Ending

I’m not sure if it’s a trend because in book series or if I’ve just been unlucky, but so many YA fantasy books I’ve read lately don’t really have an ending. They just cliffhang like nobody’s business. This leaves me in a constant state of anxiety because I’m continually dying to know what’s going to happen!

Although it doesn’t usually affect my overall love of the fantasy book in question, it’s nice to read a book with a firm conclusion once and awhile.

Some other things I loved about this book

  • This is not your typical YA/fantasy book and I love it: no high schools, no insta love
  • The landscapes are stunning— forests, deserts and exotic cities
  • The relationships were rich and complex. Elisa’s relationships with Ximena (her nurse) and her lady-in-waiting Cosme are so complicated and realistic
  • This book is full of harshness and fierceness, which is necessary and fitting for the environment. You don’t see a ton of this in YA books
  • Overall:

    Please pick up this fantastic novel. It’s beautiful and compelling and offers a scenic tour of a land that is in political turmoil and finds an unlikely heroine. This may go on my Best Books of 2011 list…I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what other fantasy books come my way this year!

    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.