I read Rae Carson last year and was blown away by WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER. I purchased THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS shortly afterwards because I planned on reading everything by this author. I will say that this story had a lot of potential and the second half was pretty addictive.
Elisa was chosen by God for something great. As the younger sister, and as a person who struggles with self-esteem, she can’t imagine what she will do. When a neighboring king chooses Elisa to marry she thinks her greatness will happen in his kingdom. Being the chosen one makes her a target, instead of strengthening his kingdom, Elisa finds herself being hunted and stolen into danger. She must figure out how to use her gift to help her people or end up dead in a long line of chosen ones who die before they reach greatness.
I want to start with the things I liked about this story. Elisa is a fat heroine. That’s right, she is overweight. She likes food and spends much time thinking about her next meal. It was really refreshing to see a heroine that wasn’t a stick. She also doesn’t have much in the way of street smarts or fighting ability.
The story moved along at a great pace. We don’t spend too much time in Elisa’s home kingdom before she is married off to a King she doesn’t know. Then the story shifts when Elisa is kidnapped and made to walk through the desert where she learns to sympathize with these forgotten people the king has warring for him. From there things start to unravel for me.
This book underwhelmed me. The reasons for this were many.
- Special snowflakness- “Elisa is the chosen one.” She has something called a Godstone in her belly and only one person in every 1,000 years has that.
- Too much religion- Okay, so Elisa has a direct link to god through her belly stone but she also has a love/hate relationship with god, which sends mixed signals.
- The love triangle.
- People important die in this story and there was not nearly enough said about it.
- The main character talks so low about herself. She’s overweight but she does nothing to change that. Then somehow she walks off the weight.
- They walk everywhere. This whole book is people walking from point A to point B.
- Elisa, a 16 year old with no war experience whatsoever, becomes the leader of the rebellion.
- Praying was the whole magic system. This was not magic well done, it was a bit lazy to make merely praying a way to get magic.
It is hard for me to overlook the things I disliked about this story. It is sort of amazing that I didn’t DNF this book because it had so much wasted potential. Like I said earlier the second half of the book was really fun, BUT I also don’t understand how we got there. It’s kinda like out pity party heroine did a 180° and figured out how to rule.
In conclusion, I will not be continuing this series. That’s sad because I can’t remember the last time I started a series and didn’t want to finish it. Also, I heard the next book was much better. Life is just too short to read books I don’t really enjoy, I liked the idea of this book, but the story itself had too many flaws.
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Series: Fire and Thorns #1
Published by Greenwillow Books on September 20th 2011
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic, Royalty
Also by this author: Walk on Earth a Stranger
eBook provided by My Wallet (purchased)
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.