Goodreads book 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. 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.
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
I've had this book on my list for quite some time now. I wasn't sure if I'd like it because there were so many mixed reviews on it. I'm glad I didn't look at them again before reading it. I was hooked after the first few pages.
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson centers around Elisa, a princess born with a Godstone in her navel. It predicts that she will be important in some way that affects many peoples and lives-- how is unclear. I was swept up in all of the intrigue, politics, and war that this book contains. But the best part of the book is Elisa herself. She's not the typical heroine-- she's overweight and has a sweet tooth, but she is super intelligent and has read war books back to front and probably knows more about strategy than most royals (men included). Not to mention that she's very devout, but in a way that totally makes sense. Elisa thinks there is no way that she can lead, but many different circumstances may force her into that role regardless.
I absolutely loved this book. It is a thoughtful book, so someone looking for a fluff read should look somewhere else. But that is not to say that it drags, because for me, it never did. I was hooked from start to finish. I think Elisa is one of the most fascinating characters I've come across in a long time. She is able to grow in this book, but is never annoying (which is a hard balance to strike but Carson succeeds). She's down to earth, and we can relate to her, even though she is the Chosen One. It is quite clear that she has doubts like everyone else, and is just like anyone else (except with some really cool powers). The setup of the story is very unusual, and the world building is terrific. I love how this book is so spiritual and centers on religion and God, but I never feel like I'm being preached to. I've never seen that done so effortlessly as in this book, and I was incredibly impressed. Finally, I love that this book is a whole novel in its own right although it will probably be part of a trilogy. I want to see what happens to our characters next, but I felt very satisfied at the end.
Overall, a fantastic read with a wonderful, unique protagonist and story line, and Rae Carson is an author to watch.
Did you read this book? What did you think about it?
Don't forget to sign up for these awesome giveaways!
1. International Giveaway of Signed and personalized hard back copy of Venom by Fiona Paul
2. International Giveaway of THREE Shardwell Prize Packs- Both books signed by both authors and swag OR $10 Amazon GC
3. International Giveaway of either Incarnate or pre-order of Asunder by Jodi Meadows and a signed bookplate by the author. Two runner ups get signed bookplates by Jodi!