REVIEW: ‘The Girl of Fire and Thorns’ by Rae Carson

Hardcover: 432 pages

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Release Date: September 20, 2011

Series: ‘Fire and Thorns’ Trilogy

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.

From the Amazon description for the UK version:

Princess Elisa is a disappointment to her people. Although she bears the Godstone in her navel, a sign that she has been chosen for an act of heroism, they see her as lazy and useless and fat.

On her sixteenth birthday, she is bartered off in royal marriage and shipped away to a kingdom in turmoil, where her much-older and extremely beautiful husband refuses to acknowledge her as his wife. Devastated, Elisa decides to take charge of her fate and learn what it means to bear the Godstone. As an invading army threatens to destroy her new home, and everyone at court maneuvers to take advantage of the young princess, Elisa becomes convinced that, not only is her own life in danger, the whole world needs saving. But how can a young girl who has never ridden horseback, never played the game of politics, and never attained the love of a man save the world? Elisa can’t be sure, but she must try to uncover the Godstone’s secret history before the enemy steals the destiny nestled in her core.

My Thoughts

Splendid debut novel! I was left breathless by this novel. At first, I wasn’t so sure I was going to like it because it reminded me of a Spanish soap opera I once watched, but this is absolutely amazing.
This is the first book I’ve read where the main female character isn’t especially beautiful. The princess is fat and she has no experience in anything she is expected to do, but she has the advantage of being smart, really smart.
After being married to a king she never met, she has to come to terms that he doesn’t even want to acknowledge her as his queen and she has to figure out how she fits in this entire picture. 
She is the bearer of the Godstone, a magical stone sent from God, which also comes with a great responsibility. Prophecies and teachings speak of a Service that each bearer has to complete during his or her lifetime, but not all manage to do it. 
Princess Elisa feels useless and not worthy of being a bearer of the Godstone. She has guardians who protect her of other people, because it is dangerous that they find out that Elisa is the bearer. Many seek this stone because it possesses magical properties and they would kill the bearer to get the stone.
Elisa has few friends and when she is kidnapped, she has to manage on her own and grow up. She falls in love, loses weight and has to make some decisions that will affect many lives. 
I can’t wait for the next two parts of this trilogy, entitled ‘Crown of Embers’ and ‘The Bitter Kingdom’. When I finished, I was hoping there would be a sequel because there were a few matters that were left unfinished, but I am generally satisfied how all things turned out in the end. 
I definitely recommend this book. It came out September 20, 2011, so order your copy or buy it from your local library. It’s really amazing!

Rating:  ❤❤❤❤❤ – 5 hearts!