Thursday, June 20, 2013

Read This: The Girl of Fire and Thorns

The Girl of Fire and Thorns
by Rae Carson

The Short Story
Elisa has been pegged to do a great work with her life, and everybody believes it. Except for her. She's shy, and full of self-doubt, and has no idea what it is she's supposed to do. When she gets married off to a king who has his own reasons for wanting her around, she starts to realize that people have been hiding things from her. Also, rebels and some kissing and growing up.
High fantasy that even I liked.

Come for the....
unexpectedly good high fantasy. I'd heard great things about this book, but look at the cover! Enchanted forest and girl's face trapped in a magic crystal. That is not really my thing. But I found myself checking it out of the library anyway, and good thing I did. Because this book is amazing. I appreciated the Spanish-language influence. Traditional fantasy has names that look like something out of an Ikea catalog, but not this one. It's set in a sort of desert climate, and everyone has Spanish names. That are easy to pronounce. Plus the mythology in the story felt like a sort of mystical twist on Catholicism. It was fascinating! Plus, no map. If you need a map, you're doing something wrong with your writing.

Since the whole fantasy-ness wasn't a holdup, I could focus all my attention on the characters. I loved Elisa. She has no confidence in herself at the beginning of the story and feels like she can't live up to the high expectations she's supposed to fulfill. She eats her way through her feelings and then hides behind her size. And I was so happy to watch her character grow and get past a lot of that. She was just a really enjoyable, relateable character. I also really liked Humberto and the rebels, and Hector. (Did anyone else expect him to be the love interest?)

Don't Think About This Too Hard

  • Really, I've got nothing. On to the sequel!

The Big Three:
Language: not an issue
Sex and Stuff: not an issue
Violence: a lot of fighting with swords/knives/etc, people being burned, blood, some gore


  1. Oh I LOVE this book and this series. Having read all three, I think that they get better with each book... and you can look forward to a perfect conclusion with The Bitter Kingdom. So glad you enjoyed this first one! :)

    1. Yay! I'm so happy to hear the series ends well!

  2. This sounds awesome! Parts of your review made me laugh! I'm kind of selective about my high fantasy, but I think this is on my to-read list. Great review!

  3. I was hoping all along that it would be Hector! I think that's what made me enjoy the book so much--that little twist in the love story. I agree about the Spanish influence being refreshing. I think the only thing that bugged me about the book was the whole godstone idea--it just didn't quite work for me.

    1. I agree about the love story. I liked that there was more than one love interest, but not really a triangle. The godstone is kind of weird. And it kind of gets weirder in the second book. But I still liked it. :)