Series: Fire and Thorns, #1
Author: Rae Carson
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Published: September 20, 2011
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure
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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.I've had this book sitting on my bookshelf for a while, a couple of years at least, so I finally decided to pick it up after hearing great things about it. However, I had trouble connecting with it for about the first half or so. Things got better when I got further and further into the book, but I never really got completely sucked into the story or connected with the characters.
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. 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.
The book starts off with Elisa preparing to marry a king she's never met for political gain. That's what she's really only seen as. And it's all because she is the bearer of the Godstone, a magical gem that makes her incredibly important, and incredibly sought out. When the life of a queen is not exactly what Elisa expected, she finds herself thrust into power, a power she never thought she would have and is unsure if she wants.
I found Elisa to be very annoying for most of the book. Yes, I know she is only sixteen, but she is very whiny. She complains about many things, and doesn't always take into consideration other peoples thoughts. However, as the book progresses, Elisa is forced to mature quickly, and that made her a little more bearable.
I also found the plot to be boring at times. I know not every scene will keep me at the edge of my seat, but they're supposed to keep me interested. And I wasn't that interested in what was happening about half the time. Things picked up towards the end, but it seemed to take a while to get there. I suppose it didn't help that I was occasionally confused about what was happening, but that confusion might have stemmed from the fact that I wasn't always engaged.
I've heard that the trilogy gets better after this, so I plan to read the other two to see if I feel the same way. I was really hoping to like this series, so maybe I have to wait until the sequel to really connect with it.
Overall, this book was a little bit of a disappointment for me. I was expected a fast-paced, high-stakes fantasy adventure, but it seemed to be more like a slow moving journey with a whiny teen. I'm hoping that the sequel is better, as I love the premise for this series. Wish me luck!