The Girl of Fire and Thorns
by Rae Carson
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. (description from Amazon.com)
My gut reaction to this book was so strong and so LOVING that I already tweeted/emailed the author to tell her... I swear I'm not stalker-y like that all the time, but guys, I loved this book HARD!
As I told Rae Carson, I can only compare how I felt finishing this book to the first time I felt finishing Tamora Pierce's Alanna: The First Adventure, and that is my ALL-TIME favorite book and one of the only ones that I reread fairly consistently.
There is no denying that I trend toward a certain type of book. I am a hardcore fantasy/sci-fi reader, but within those genres, I am fairly picky. I like plucky heroines, action, "realistic" (can I even say this??) magic, not too tech-y science fiction, and if I don't like it, I tend to really not like it. It's a gut reaction thing.
Well... Elisa is the underdog, who comes to lead an army, a country, and the hearts of those around her. She is a girl who figures things out and saves the day, herself! My favorite kind of heroine. She is still touchingly unsure of herself at times and the poor girl gets her heart broken...twice.
She lives in a world with a fascinating religion, a strange new type of magic, and a mixture of interesting peoples. Her travels across her home country to the desert regions of her new home were vivid and felt so tangible that I kept trying to wipe sweat off my own brow, or to rub my aching feet.
Trust me, if you love fantasy books by authors like Tamora Pierce, Kristin Cashore, or Megan Whalen Turner, you want to check out this author's awesome debut. It's getting a gold star here!
I loved this book so much that I immediately purchased a copy for myself to keep on my Nook, even though I am on a spending hiatus. I also double checked to see if there is a sequel and I am happy to report that book two in the trilogy, The Crown of Embers, will be coming out in Fall 2012. I will definitely be on the pre-order list for that one!!
Full disclosure: ARC received from Netgalley
2011 Debut Author Challenge title