I love fantasy novels. When a writer can successfully build an entirely different world that I instantly get swept away in, that is talent! Rae Carson's GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS trilogy has blown me away with its greatness. I saw the first book in my library not long after I had read Kristin Cashore's Graceling and Fire. I was in the mood for more fantasy and decided to give The Girl of Fire and Thorns a try. I am so glad I did! Here's my summary:
Elisa is a princess. Her older sister, also a princess, is thin and beautiful and smart and will take over their father's kingdom one day. Elisa has never done anything remarkable. She's plain and plump and awkward. But she's also a chosen one. Once in a century one person is chosen to bear the godstone--a jewel in their navel. In order to bring peace and gain power, Elisa's father marries her off to a handsome king from another kingdom. But before Elisa can even make a difference, she is kidnapped by those seeking the power of her godstone. Elisa slowly learns that these people who've taken her aren't really her enemy--they're just people who need her help. Then there's one of her captors, Humberto. He looks at her in a way no man ever has before. The two fall in love but their happiness is short lived for there are even more enemies out there that want Elisa as well. And they will kill her to get her godstone so they can harness its power. Will Elisa be able to stay alive and bring together a country ravaged by war and death? Will her godstone give her the power she so desperately needs to make a difference?
Elisa is a hero. She's saved her people, started making a difference, and has taken control of her destiny. She thinks all of the drama with her godstone is long gone. After all, she fulfilled her destiny, didn't she? If so, then why are there still people after her? Who wants Elisa dead and why? Elisa must figure this out if she has a chance of bringing the kingdoms together and making the changes needed. With a ragtag group of friends, Elisa sets off on a journey to discover her real destiny and how exactly her godstone can help her. Along the way she manages to fall in love again. This time though, it's with the head of her guard. Hector is a friend and he is also royalty. He could be a powerful ally but an even better husband. If Elisa makes it back alive she has some tough decisions to make. One of which is keep Hector close or let him go. What she chooses will surprise you.
**Loved, loved, loved these books! The world Carson has created is magical and interesting and not hard to understand. Her characters are well drawn with fascinating personalities and character arcs that rival Elisa's. The political intrigue and constant threats on Elisa's life will keep you turning the pages. And the romance between her and Hector will have you swooning and rooting for them to GET TOGETHER ALREADY! The ending was so wonderfully surprising that I can't wait for the final installment, The Bitter Kingdom, to come out this August! In the meantime, Carson has two e-novellas set in Elisa's world to tide you over.
Thanks for reading! See you back soon (: