So... vacation read #1:
The Crown of Embers
by Rae Carson
Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, book two
She does not know what awaits her at the enemy's gate.
Elisa is a hero. She led her people to victory over a terrifying, sorcerous army. Her place as the country's ruler should be secure. But it isn't.
Her enemies come at her like ghosts in a dream, from both foreign realms and within her own court. And her destiny as the chosen one has not yet been fulfilled.
To conquer the power she bears once and for all, Elisa must follow the trail of long-forgotten--and forbidden--clues from the deep, undiscovered catacombs of her own city to the treacherous seas. With her goes a one-eyed spy, a traitor, and the man who--despite everything--she is falling in love with.
If she's lucky, she will return from this journey. But there will be a cost. (description from Amazon.com)
FINALLY. I finally got the chance to read this one! I pre-ordered it on my Nook because I loved the first book, The Girl of Fire and Thorns, so much (see my GOLD STAR review here) that I just knew I *HAD* to read the rest of the trilogy...
as soon as they came out , oh, I mean whenever I could finally take a vacation and sneak the second one in... I'm just proud the third book hadn't quite come out yet, LOL.
Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed the second book as much as the first. *Some mild spoilers ahead*
Elisa is no longer just a second born princess, but has been named ruler of her own kingdom. While her loyal followers embrace and celebrate her, her own council conspire to either replace her...or if that proves impossible, to at least be able to manipulate her. Still the epically smart heroine, Elisa realizes this and works to twist their own manipulations around to suit her, as well. Sassy! I love it.
One of my all-time favorite themes, and one not used often enough IMHO, comes to the forefront in this book. The best friend love!!! My heart sang. Even as Elisa is being forced to consider suitors for a marriage for which she is not emotionally ready, she comes to realize that she already has grown into strong feelings for someone very close... Watching their relationship play out was mesmerizing, and the way that the book leaves things for the trilogy's end... I need book three ASAP!!!
A great second chapter in Elisa's story.
Full disclosure: Book purchased for my Nook