Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Teaser Tuesday + Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

From the Back Cover:

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.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two "teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! Share the title & author, too, so that others can add the book to their TBR Lists!

From page 109: The king does not rise to greet me, but he smiles and kisses my hand, and my face flames. I take my place on the dais along with the members of the quorum, slightly behind Alejandro's throne, looking over his dark head at the milling nobility. A favored position, I assume, until I see Condesa Arina reach out and rest a casual hand against the empty throne beside him.

My Thoughts:

This is a moving tale of one girl's courageous journey to overcome fear and low self-esteem, discover the strength and power hidden within her, and find the courage and charisma to save her people from war and oppression. Princess Elisa begins the novel as a frightened child bride, as a chosen one who hasn't realized her potential, and as a political pawn in a war-torn land. Elisa's faith in herself and in her God are tested as soon as she leaves her father's kingdom and discovers that she has been kept in the dark about the nature of the Godstone she bears, and that she has enemies both within her new husband's court and without. But it's not until Elisa is kidnapped by a group of revolutionaries that her journey really begins. As she travels through an unforgiving landscape and witnesses the condition of life outside the capital city's walls, she sets her feet upon an exciting and adventurous path to fulfill her destiny. What follows is a good, hardscrabble fight for survival of epic proportions, and it's refreshingly unpredictable.

Elisa is a great character, very empathetic, realistic, and inspiring, but she's surrounded by a wealth of supporting characters, none of whom we get to know in any real depth, so they end up being rather one-dimensional and are more like props in a setting designed to display Elisa to best advantage. Except perhaps for the enigmatic Hector, captain of the guard. I suspect he will have a bigger role to play in the rest of Elisa's story. I had a hard time grasping the theology behind Elisa's faith and the Godstone she bears. I couldn't tell if it was supposed to be some kind of Christian metaphor or something else altogether. It wasn't defined enough or made realistic enough for me to buy into it hook, line and sinker. But this is the first of three, so I imagine more will be revealed. I watched a video of Rae Carson outlining the direction the next two books will take, and it sounds like she's got a good grasp on the overall story. And I appreciate that this first installment ended with a satisfying and definitive conclusion. I think this is a great story with a strong and worthy female protagonist, and should appeal to any fan of young adult fantasy. Just be prepared to gloss over a couple of scenes that stretch the limits of believability. Otherwise it's original, gripping, and evocative reading.

My Rating:  4 Stars out of 5

*Please note: This review references an advance review copy received through the Amazon Vine program. Though I received this book from the publisher, these are my honest and unbiased thoughts, and I was not compensated in any other way for reviewing this book.


  1. I'm so upset with me that I didn't jump on this one for review (but if you saw my review stacks, you'd understand) Great teaser for one that I'm going to have to buy! :)

  2. thanks for sharing :)


  3. Great review! This one sounds very interesting and a good start for the series to build on. I'm going to look for it.
    Here's My Teaser!

  4. love the review! i'm going to have to check this out!

    Trish - My Teaser Tuesday

  5. wow, this isn't usually a genre I read but the story sounds amazing! thanks for this review! Great blog you have here! New follower:)

  6. Thanks for the teaser and the review! This book is on my wishlist and you've made me want to read it even more! Here's my TT: http://www.2readornot2read.com/2011/09/teaser-tuesday-sept-13-2011.html

  7. Sounds like this will be a very interesting read.

    My TT:

  8. I really want to read this one. Looking forward to your review.

  9. Does look interesting! Great teaser Jenny!

  10. Darn... there goes my budget! teaser got me and then your review put in the clincher... I blame you utterly ;)


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