Title: Girl of Fire and Thorns
Author: Rae Carson
Published: September 20th 2011 by HarperCollins Publishers
Summary: "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’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."
First line: "Prayer candles flicker in my bedroom."
Thoughts: Holy cow, The Girl of Fire and Thorns totally blew me away. From everything I've heard about it, I knew I was going to enjoy it, but nothing could have prepared me for this. In so many words, this novel completely took my breath away.
The story starts immediately off with Elisa's wedding day, which, ironically, is also the day of her sixteenth birthday. She has never met Alejandro (her husband) before, and must leave her home the following day, to travel to Joya d'Arena, where her husband rules as king. Who doesn't dream of being whisked away by a handsome king and ruling by his side? Elisa, that's who.
Elisa is the bearer of the Godstone, a jewel blessed by God, which only happens once in a blue moon (please excuse the irony). Each bearer is destined to lead an extraordinary life, but Elisa feels like she may be an exception. Even so, Alejandro keeps Elisa a secret. Because if word got out that not only is she married to the king, but is also the bearer of the Godstone, then there will be people out to get her...and all hell will break loose.
What I love about this book is, even though it's kind of huge (over 400 pages), there is never a dull moment. The action scenes are amazing. They're so detailed and vivid that I felt like I was watching Prince of Persia, rather than reading a book. Fires, swords, terror and pain, oh my! Oh, and the fantasy element in the book? Pretty freaking amazing. Also, I loved that Elisa! Though scared and completely out of her element, she is not afraid to help those in need. She doesn't even think about the consequences and jumps right into the action. You got to love a brave heroine!
I also love that Elisa is not your cookie cutter skinny, perfect princess. She's a little chubby and not as beautiful as her sister, but to me, that makes her more real. And I love the way she owns it instead of starving herself to be as thin as other girls around her. Those pastries she eats sound delicious! I'd be hanging out with the bakers, too, for promises of coconut treats!
Lastly, I will say that even though there's plenty of action in this book, it also deals with a great deal of emotions. Neglect, love, heartache, confusion and pain will all play a part. Sometimes, I wanted to scream. Can nothing go right for this girl? Then other times, I squeed with joy. Needless to say, it's a bit of an emotional roller coaster. It might not be sunshine and lollipops, but it is stunning.
Overall, if you're wondering whether or not The Girl of Fire and Thorns lives up to it's hype, wonder no further. It's beautiful cover and originality will make you pick up the book, but it's enchanting premise will hook you till the very end. What a fantastic novel by an amazing debut author. I can't wait for the sequel (and there better be one!).