Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Published: September 2011
Publisher: Greenwillow
Pages: 422
Copy: Library\
Summary: Goodreads

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

Reading fantasy feels a bit like coming home for me.  The slow lazy feel of it, where quests take months and not days.  Where the magic is done by sorcerors and is a little more mystical.  So The Girl of Fire and Thorns should have been right up my alley.  BUT...

Elisa was an interesting character with some serious issues revolving around over-eating.   The development of her character was more or less believable as she has to face a series of challenges that are completely out of her sphere of knowledge. Unfortunately, there were just too many references to food and eating for me - I felt as if I wasn't being allowed to forget what a pitiful person Elisa was.  I wanted to cheer for her and applaud her resolve, but somehow I just wasn't connecting.

In a host of  secondary characters,  no single one of them stood out much above the others.  There are several 'love' interests, and some interesting possibilities.  If I had to pick a favourite it would be Lord Hector, who is just a little older - hard to pin down his age exactly, but I'd like to hear more about him.  And then there are some major surprises.  Ms Carson does not shy away from unfortunate incidents where her characters are concerned and gave me a few  wow moments which I wasn't expecting.  Then again there were also a few moments where I just wanted to throw my hands in the air and say 'What did you exect to happen, dummies?'

My final thoughts therefore are a little jumbled.  I did enjoy the story line and the way everything drew to a conclusion, but Elisa and I just didn't really connect.  I heard that there are to be another 2 books and I think I will probably read them but unfortunately The Girl of Fire and Thorns was only an OK read for me.  I'd love to hear what others thought about it though.


  1. Hmm - interesting to know! I have this book checked out right now and it is sitting in my pile of immediate to be read's. Considering giving it a pass after your review, but maybe we'll give the first 50 pages a shot and see how it goes.

  2. I enjoyed the book, but I have the same reservations about the characters as you are. it kind of bugged me that the love interest was suddenly interested in her once she lost weight. and the religion bugged me a little, but not much. That surprised me the most because I am normally not one for religious books. But I did really enjoy the storyline of this book so i would certainly read the second one. Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

    1. I felt the same way about the religion, it bugged me, but it did not seem totally overwhelming.