August 8, 2013

The Girl of Fire and Thorns - Rae Carson

The Girl of Fire and Thorns - Rae Carson
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Series: Fire and Thorns #1
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: September 20, 2011
Source/Format: Borrowed from the library || Hardcover

Elisa is the chosen one. 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. (modified from Goodreads)

I’ve always loved fantasy novels, and The Girl of Fire and Thorns was certainly no exception! This novel is exactly how I want all my fantasies to be - chock full of strongly drawn characters, interesting and varied settings, and a subtle plot that surprises me with every twist and turn. It’s simply addicting, and has climbed straight into my must-read list.

Elisa is certainly a kick-ass heroine, even though the way she’s described at the beginning of this novel wouldn’t actually showcase that. Underneath all that doubt, insecurity and well, her appearance, lies a steel core of strength, intelligence, courage and wisdom. Elisa has to deal with more than one enemy in this novel, but she does so each time with the grace befitting her gift and rank. I was very proud of how she handled herself, and enjoyed witnessing how she ends up becoming comfortable in her own skin. This novel is truly her story above all else.

This story has religious undertones and a unique political climate, which make the plot very interesting. I was going to share more specific thoughts in this review, but Rachel and I agree that it’s best to go into this one not knowing much more than what the summary has to say. There’s an element of surprise with every twist that truly enhances the reader’s experience. I do think it’s cleverly woven into the story and not in such a way that it felt too political or too religious. I also think that it’s easy to keep track of what’s going on, even though there are quite a few plot threads that the reader must catch. These two things lent to the unique backdrop against which Elisa’s story is set, and I applaud Carson for doing so in an effective way.

Story-wise, this book is addicting and filled with equal moments of action and contemplation. Elisa’s story is rife with mysteries being solved, revelations about her Godstone and lots of thrilling action. I enjoyed the whirlwind of the story, and how it took us from one part to the next in a way that just flowed right. There’s no weird gap between events or randomly shoved in scenes; it felt like Carson had carefully contemplated where and what would happen to Elisa, which was great. 

I can’t believe I waited so long to read The Girl of Fire and Thorns! It’s just as great as everyone said it would be, and I love that I have a new fantasy series to love. It was easy to adore Elisa (and a few other characters too), and also easy to really get invested. The first book ends on a satisfying note, but I can sense there’s more to come for Elisa and her friends – and that’s why I can’t wait to pick up The Crown of Embers soon!

 This review was posted as part of It Takes Two.
For more information about this feature, click here. 


  1. Great review! I agree with you; I'm glad I didn't know much about the story going in. And I'm totally glad that you convinced me to jump into a fantasy novel -- it was soooooo worth it! I didn't get to read the second book before it was due back at the library, but I put it on hold again and will be taking it on holiday next week.

  2. YAYYYYY! :D Alexa, I am SO happy you love it!! This whole series is just SO GOOD and wait till you get to The Crown of Embers and The Bitter Kingdom and you'll be SWOONING OVER HECTOR WITH ME!! :D
    I have serious series hangover from this, I can't stop thinking about it and I finished The Bitter Kingdom MONTHS ago!

  3. So glad that you liked Girl of Fire and Thorns!! It's one of my *favorite* fantasy books! The religious and political aspect of the book is what makes it so unique and, as you said, it is so cleverly woven into the story. The whole novel is just sewn together very well.

    Sara at The Page Sage

  4. I STILL haven't read The Girl of Fire and Thorns, but I keep hearing how amazing it is. I've been contemplating reading it via audiobook, but I'm listening to The Scorpio Races right now. But I'm on vacation at the end of the month, so that could be a great time to read this one, and the sequel. Okay, now I'm really excited :)

    Thanks for the review.

  5. Great review! I still have not read this series, but I know that it must be amazing because of all the great reviews the author's books receive. Elisa sounds like an amazing character too. Thanks for sharing & confirming that I really must read this book soon! :)

  6. I still haven't read this one yet, but you're making me wanna move it up the list! I did buy it recently and I have been eyeing it from time to time. Gotta get in the mood for fantasy tho. Great review Alexa!

    Confessions of a Vi3tBabe
    Deity Island

  7. This series basically has a permanent spot on my To Read list. I've heard insanely awesome things about it and I swear I'll get to it one day!! Your excitement over this book made me want to read it even more. :) Lovely review!

  8. I just finished the series and I am still SO in love with it. I love that more and more people are still starting this because as far as fantasy series go I think this one is seriously underrated! I remember being TORN up inside after finishing The Girl of Fire & Thorns but my heart healed right up after starting The Crown of Embers! Can't wait to hear your thoughts on that one:) Great review!

  9. I actually think The Bitter Kingdom is the best of the trilogy so I'm jealous of you still having that ahead of you-hope you love them all!

  10. I knew as soon as I read Throne of Glass that if you hadnt read TGoF&T, you needed to. I can't shout the praises of this book enough. Soooo Good. Elisa has exponential growth & the setting & other characters are so alive.

  11. Glad you enjoyed TGoF&T!! Just wait until you pick up THE CROWN OF EMBERS - it's excellent.

    Great review :)

  12. I'm really excited to hear you loved this one! I'm not a huge fantasy reader, but I've seen this one around the blogosphere lately. One of my real life friends recently recommended this to me, but I was hesitant to give it a try. But your review & reading through some of the comments are making me think I might be surprised by this one!

  13. It's odd - I love fantasy and I feel like I tend to rate books in this genre higher than average, or am willing to overlook flaws more easily, but this book just let me down. I don't know what it is that puts me in the minority. I liked it but it was one of those - some things I really liked and some things I really didn't - books for me. And even though it is said that the books keep getting better and I want to read them, I can muster the enthusiasm to do so! But I am glad you loved it. :D


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