- Pam at Bookalicious raving over this in her review (and on Twitter) was enough to make me bump this up my TBR.
Summary from GoodReads:
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.
Elisa is not your typical heroine. She likes to eat, and her figure shows it. She’s the second born girl, with an older sister who has been trained to be a Queen. Elisa loves to read and is incredibly smart, but rarely gets to show that off due to a low self-esteem.
The Girl of Fire and Thorns begins with a wedding. Elisa’s wedding. She is being married to a King and sent away from her family on her 16th birthday, and so begins her adventures.
What I really appreciated about this book was, although Rae Carson went just a little overboard with Elisa’s “fat” figure (references to eating, to calling herself a ‘pig’, etc), she also made sure to give a fairly accurate picture of what it feels like to be large. The whispers and glances, even a wedding night – all made sense, especially during later events. I was worried that this would be one of those stories where the fat girl loses weight and all of the sudden everyone likes her, but Carson manages to skirt around that cliche and still maintain the integrity of the story.
There is a lot of religion on this book, it’s a world based around the premise of religion and of Elisa being the first “chosen-one” in about 100 years. It’s fascinating stuff, but also very, very religious so it was interesting to me to read a fantasy based so heavily on prayer.
I really enjoyed The Girl of Fire and Thorns. I loved that, although there is love, it is not the central focus of the story, but rather Elisa’s growth and confidence is. The fantasy world was interesting, but could have been a little more fleshed out (with less prayer next time, please!) and I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series to see where Carson takes us next.
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