The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns #1)
by Rae Carson
Summary: 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 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.
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Source: I purchased a copy for Kindle.
I’ve wanted to read this book for ages. The cover is beautiful and I’ve heard so many wonderful things about it. I was in the mood for an awesome fantasy, so I decided to set aside time to read this book… finally. Unfortunately, it was an agonizing read and I didn’t enjoy it at all.
The main character was utterly ridiculous. Until (literally) 50% through the book, I had a very vague idea of the world I was in, the other characters, the way things worked, or what the plot really was. But, oh my gosh, I knew how much Elisa ate, how much she hated herself and her appearance, how her legs ached after long walks, and how much better suited her sister was for being a queen. I am in no way exaggerating, either, unfortunately.
If you can somehow manage to get through the first half of the book without wanting to stab your eyes out, it does get better. The plot starts to go somewhere, it just took Elisa losing weight and working hard and gaining confidence. Suddenly, she’s the main star, the hero, and the woman behind the awesome plans and schemes. Underneath all that self hatred was a girl who was absolutely brilliant. Some people may find this to be awesome and redeeming, but I thought it actually made the book even more ridiculous. I don’t believe a young girl who was literally sheltered her entire life would be very good at anything involving war schemes without making tons of mistakes along the way. And suddenly, she was.
I usually don’t mind being thrust into a story without detailed world building. I like to find things out and let the setting and the way the society works slowly unravel, but the world building in this book was virtually nonexistent. I still don’t really know what the world is like. I am used to fantasy novels being very pious and having tons of religious references, plots, and themes that are strongly tied to religion. But I thought this book was really over the top with the God’s will sort of message. I wasn’t sure I really liked the overall effect.
The Girl of Fire and Thorns, based on synopsis, should have been the perfect read for me and my mood at the time. (I thought) I had all the right expectations. But it was absolutely terrible and agonizing to read. Not because of all the reasons a lot of fantasy books are deemed agonizing, like wordiness, length, and details, but because of the weight obsessed main character, her naivety, the absurdity of her sudden transformation into war hero, and the LACK of world building, details, actual plot, and complexity.
I would not recommend this book at all, unfortunately.
Labels: Fantasy, Review, YA