Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns #1) by Rae Carson

The Girl of Fire and Thorns 
Good Reads 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. 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 needs 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 Thoughts

Here's the old cover:
And here's the new one:

THANK GOSH the publishers opted for the current one. While the original is undoubtedly attractive, it wouldn't have done this book justice. It's simply too pretty For one, it does not convey how much magic and adventure play a role in the book, how "epic" her tale really is. And two, superficial as I may sound, it does not match the image of her that I have. The model looks too attractive, and it seems to say romance.

One of Elisa's charms in my eyes is how aware she is of both her appearance and how it affects others reception of her. And, admittedly she did start out soft, but she grew out of it. Her adventure starts rather quickly. Married to a virtual stranger, leaving home to settle in another to become as it's new queen. Only upon arrival does she (as do we) see that her new husband while well-meaning is not as strong as one would like, especially since he keeps her status a secret! Each discovery makes her wary of whom to trust with things getting more difficult (and more intersting) when she is taken. Unsure as to who her true enemies are, we witness Elisa grow up and even harden a little. All happening with her the bearer of the Godstone.

I loved the story.

There's adventure, romance and magic. There's princess and princessess as well as a prophecy to fulfill, but the main thing that makes this stand out for me (both in a good way and bad way) is her appearance... and what that had to do with her success. She started out homely; she's fat and knows it while others think it. So, I thought that made her different and a little more accessible especially with her being a princess. The annoying part comes in because she had to change before she actually helped anyone. I wonder, did she really have to undergo physical change for her value to be known? Because, really? it shouldn't have been about what she looked like. And it really isn't because a lot of good parts of the book reflect her strength of character. This touches on another aspect of the story that I loved: she was her strength of faith (Yes, color me surprised.) Not to say that it (or she is) preachy, but a big part of it is about keeping faith.


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