Friday, June 6, 2014 books

The Girl of Fire and Thorns
by Rae Carson

First sentence:
Prayer candles flicker in my bedroom.

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.
source: Goodreads

My opinion:
The Girl of Fire and Thorns was recommended to me by my good friend Daisy from Between the Pages. She raved about this book and since we have quite similar taste in books and after Alexa from Alexa Loves Books and Judith from Paper Riot decided to start a readalong for the series, I decided to pick it up and start reading.

I know that this series is beloved by many but I had some difficulties with the first book. It started really slow and unfortunately it did not really pick up – pace wise. Since it is set in an imaginary world there was a lot of world building in this first book and many descriptions of the land and cities. What I loved and what appealed to the Geography teacher in me was the lovely map at the beginning of the book. I am a sucker for these kind of features in books.

I also really liked some of the characters. At the beginning it was hard to distinguish between the many different and unfamiliar sounding names but after about 60 pages you had all the main characters in your head and it went more smoothly. What made reading a bit hard for me was that I couldn’t relate or really liked any of the characters in the book. Elisa felt like the spoilt princess who was always complaining while others had to take care of her. To be honest, I couldn’t stand her at the beginning of the book. What also irritated me was that she was always telling the reader how chubby she was. Yes, this is kind of relevant later in the story but still….

The minute she isn’t in Joya d'Arena anymore the story picked up a bit. It still wasn’t a fast paced book but we start to discover some of the things Elisa was wondering about all her life and the pacing of the story felt faster due to that.

In the end I thought the story was good and the whole world Rae Carson built was incredible but unfortunately I had some difficulties with it. I am still not sure how long it will take me to pick up the second book but I am pretty sure I will do in the future.

The books in the Fire and Thorns trilogy are:
  • The Girl of Fire and Thorns
  • The Crown of Embers
  • The Bitter Kingdom
For more information about Rae Carson visit her Homepage, Facebook or Twitter page.

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