The Girl of Fire and Thorns
By Rae Carson
Sept. 20, 2011
Greenwillow Books, 432 pages
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, and 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 her to be 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.
— Amazon.com description
I had some serious problems with Elisa at first:
1) She's lazy and whiny and weak.
2) I couldn't get over the fact that she reminded me of a troll doll (you'll see).
But, wow, did I ever do a 180 on this! Holy heck, this story just stunned me as I got deeper and deeper into this intense fantasy world. In time, Elisa becomes strong and brave and wild. I'm so impressed by Rae Carson for how well she pulled off such a major transformation.
And she wasn't the only deep and complex character; the large "cast" of the book was filled with intriguing and multifaceted characters. (Humberto! I love you so!) It's not often that so many characters endear themselves to me at once.
What really got me about this book was the really relatable and inspiring subplot about Elisa's struggles with her weight, body image and food addiction. It was a fresh storyline that many girls will appreciate -- I sure did.
Fantasy fans will eat this up.