Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson (Fire and Thorns Series, Book 1)

Completion Date: January 21, 2012
Reason for Reading: Fun!
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.
The very wonderful Cat at Beyond Books sent me her copy of this book. I read it back in January and then actually forgot if I had reviewed it or not. I went through my Reads in 2012 page and added in links so that I can keep track of myself. Anyway, I had been very curious about this book since it came out. I really liked the title for some reason and wanted to read it despite not being entirely sure what it was about. It was just on my list so I was thrilled when Cat offered me a copy. Then, November and December were absolutely depressing reading months for me. So, even though I felt bad, I waited for the right time to get to this book. I didn't want my moodiness to destroy the overall experience. January turned into a good reading month, so I was happy to sit down and see what this book was all about.

First of all, I should point out that I basically read this book in one sitting. I started it just to read a few pages and I was very caught up in the story early on. That day, though, I read a certain amount of pages and then moved on to whatever else was on my reading agenda for that day. The next time I picked it up, though, I was entirely caught up in the story and spent the afternoon reading it. It is a very intriguing start to a new series. I also believe it was a d├ębut for the author. While it might not be considered perfect, it is a story that is very easy to lose yourself in.

First of all, I am getting very sick of the 'damsel in distress' theme that is running through a lot of books lately. If a book even hints at this idea I have no interest in reading it. I think girls and women have a hard enough time overcoming things like prejudice and sexism and that young girls need empowering role models. They need to see that it is possible to overcome obstacles and become a positive force in the world. And, they need to understand that they do not need a guy (or more than one guy) to do so. This book does just that. Elisa has been raised in her fathers court. She has had someone do everything for her since she was a young child. Things are about to change for her, though. Elisa is a chosen one who is expected to do something great with her life, but much of who she is has been hidden from her. Then, she is kidnapped by people that want her for her gift and much is revealed for her. It does not come easily. She has never had much confidence in herself and is a bit of an underdog for the first part of the story. I think watching her develop the skills to survive and turn into a leader, though, are what make this novel so compelling.

Now, there is some romance in this book, but I think it is handled very well. Elisa is actually married, but she spends very little time with her husband before she is kidnapped. Then she meets a young man who she cares about much more than her husband, but nothing can really happen because she is all ready married. The book also has a religious tone to it. Elisa has been gifted by the Gods to be a saviour for her people. There were others that came before her and I like how the author chooses to connect everything. I only point this out so that no one is surprised.

Overall, I was quite impressed with this book and I look forward to reading the sequel at a later date. Recommended!

10 comments:

  1. I enjoyed this one too!

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    1. I think your review was one of the reasons I wanted to read it.

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  2. Sounds like a winner and I loved the way you described it!

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    1. Thanks! I am looking forward to the sequel.

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  3. Well, if you and Cat BOTH like it, then I'd better get myself a copy ASAP! :-)

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    1. I think you would really enjoy it!

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  4. We got this one for Christmas and I'm anxious to get to it.

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  5. I've been hearing lots about this book. It was on Locus's recommended reading list too for 2011. Ok, on the list it goes! I particularly like how you mention that she isn't a damsel in distress, and how the fact she is married does play a role in the romance.

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    1. I am glad I got your interest. I hope you enjoy it!

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