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The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns #1)

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  46,389 ratings  ·  4,762 reviews
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 fa
Hardcover, 423 pages
Published September 20th 2011 by Greenwillow (first published August 1st 2011)
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Ella Grace I know what the hell?????? I was so in shock when that happened i literally thought it was a joke!!

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jul 19, 2010 Rae rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
I confess that my 5-star rating may not be wholly objective.
The Holy Terror
If you caught even just a couple of my updates I think it would've been plainly obvious that I didn't enjoy this book. It's disappointing, really, because I think Carson was attempting to create a heroine that many girls could relate to. Elisa is overweight, unsure of herself, overshadowed by her prettier and skinnier sister, and chosen for something she's not sure she's worthy of. It sounds like the beginning of a compelling story, but ultimately Elisa only proves her worthiness by changing eve ...more
Veronica Roth
(Updated, now that the book is out)

I don't always gravitate toward high fantasy (although perhaps I just haven't read enough of it), but I really enjoyed this book. First of all, the main character, Elisa, was well-rounded and interesting. She transforms from an uncertain girl with low self-esteem to a strong woman who knows who she is, and I loved watching her change. Sometimes I got annoyed with her, but I think that's the mark of a good character--you don't always like them, just like you don
Jul 26, 2011 Tatiana rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of "Divergent," "Matched," "Delirium"
Recommended to Tatiana by: Paolo Bacigalupi's blurb
2.5 stars

My ARC has the old version of the cover and it is super pretty, the blue tones of it are gorgeous:

I am glad the publishers changed it though. At the very least this book will be spared accusations of whitewashing and weightwashing. The heroine of this novel - Princess Elisa of Orovalle - describes herself as "dark," "brown" and also as "a big, bloated sausage" and "pig." Clearly, the cover doesn't quite match these adjectives.

Now onto the novel itself. 16-year old princess Elisa has a g
"That's All" Ash
Running in a 25k marathon.
In 4.8 inch heels.
In the rain.
With an STD.
While hungover.
And getting passed by a 93-year-old man,
Who’s wearing a very form-fitting polyester purple-leopard-print body suit.

Would have been better than this book.

 photo Andthentheytellthemandyourelike_c3248a04bee1d955979c1ddc51d01c0d.gif
This was one of those books I have a hard time rating, simply because some elements were very well done, and others very poorly done.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns is the story of Elisa, princess to the country of Oravalle and bearer of the Godstone, a jewel implanted in her navel that signifies she is marked by god as one who will do a Service. Elisa has no idea what her Service will be, and can't imagine herself ever being useful to her country. She is merely the overweight, shy younger daughter
Faye, la Patata
Oh, my goodness.

A heroine who actually thinks for herself?
A heroine who doesn't get swayed by hot men?
A heroine who overcomes her fears realistically and courageously?
A heroine who is perfect in her imperfections?
A heroine who is flawed yet so real?


Ooh. La. Freaking. La.

To say that I enjoyed this book is an understatement.

It's been a while since I finished a book in one sitting. Seriously, recently, it takes me 3-5 days max to finish a
I recommend this for fans of Tamora Pierce, Kristin Cashore, and my own high fantasy. This is a transformation story that teens and adults can believe in. Never condescending.
Lindsey Rey
DEAR EVERYBODY: YOU NEED TO READ THIS!!! Seriously, what Rae Carson does with this book is brilliant and extremely refreshing! Everything is so honest and genuine and I loved every moment of it.

I reeeeeeeeally liked this. This was such a refreshing YA fantasy I didn't realize how much I needed something like this. The premise was interesting and unique and I felt many different feels while reading this story.

I would also like to note that (for me anyway) the synopsis does not do this book justice at all. I really expected this to be more of a fluff fantasy and I ended up putting it off for so long because of it.

Very much looking forward to continuing!
Jill Myles
So I read this one a while back and thought it was amazing. To the point that I sort of harassed a lot of people to read it, and I'm glad they all loved it too.

I do see a lot of commentary about this having a 'Christian' vibe to it, and I wanted to say that I totally didn't feel this was Christian-Lit in the slightest. Rather, I thought it was a fun riff on the whole 'Chosen One' sort of scenario that we are all so familiar with in fantasy. Rae Carson's story is basically, "What if the Chosen On
Cait Grace
I am ridiculously in love with this book. I've been gnawing at fantasies like a fiend lately and FINALLY I found this one which is a) unique, and b) feministic, and c) incredibly adorable and charming and heart warming. WELL. Apart from the moments when my heart was breaking. This author does NOT spare her characters. AHHH. WHERE EVEN TO BEGIN?!!

It's an incredible rich fantasy world, which was gorgeous to eat. My only single complaint was that it was a bit hard to pin-point all the countries and
Jo Anne B

I was disappointed in this YA Divergent wanna be novel. The author tried to make the heroine Elisa different from the other YA novels. She is fat, not physically fit and very pious. She was chosen by God to be a leader and do great things. Her Godstone in her navel is proof of this. The author did a poor job describing the characters in this book. Rather Elisa had to do that for us. This made the characters lack depth and thus seem dull and uninteresting.

We never learn what Elisa's food obsessi
Ms. Library
So, I wanted to like this so much more than I did, because it was recommended by a dear person who is usually right on with her recommendations for me. I was really excited about it, because I think the premise is interesting, and I wanted to see how Carson would develop this idea and her character.

However, I didn't like it. Carson suffers from showing and not telling. She tells the reader everything, and this is really frustrating. She doesn't immerse you in the world, and I so badly wanted to
How many fat, introverted, intellectual princesses do we have in YA fantasy lit—-or any fiction, for that matter? I appreciate that Rae Carson went to the effort of writing against type. Despite noble efforts, though, this book is just a pile of fail.

What made me angry with this book? Let me count the ways:

1. Fat hate: I'm sure that overweight readers (especially those who have issues with binging) will identify with Elisa, but I'm really fucking exhausted of every overweight central character i
I’m not a book reviewer, but every once in awhile I read a story that I must gush about before I drown in my love for it.

I was swept away by Rae's amazing story telling from the first page to the last. The Girl of Fire and Thorns is masterful.

The main character, Elisa, is beyond likable. She’s the perfect balance of lovable and flawed. In fact, she starts out fat and sweats a lot, but that doesn’t stop her from savoring a couple honey-glazed pistachio buns. :) Elisa has realistic worries and f
Fantasy haters need not apply to reading this book review. If the word worldbuilding has no particular meaning to you, if you have no idea who Tamora Pierce is, if you cringe at the thought of epic fantasy, The Girl Of Fire And Thorns by Rae Carson is not the book for you. If you love a hero journey where a character finds themselves, get on this book stat. If you love when characters die out of left field, hop onto The Girl of Fire And Thorns love train. If you prefer your books to have legit e ...more
Summer the bummer
Jan 21, 2015 Summer the bummer rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those with very low standards for YA fantasy
I have put off this review long enough. It should be telling enough that to this day I preserve a place in my heart that severely abhors this book; it has left that much of an impact on my anger me.

The reason I read this? I wanted to read a high fantasy book that would be reminiscent of Stolen Songbird, a recent favorite of mine, and wanted to relive the experience but in a different book. Actually--screw it--imma go right out and say that the sole reason I read The Girl of Fire and Thorns was b
May 07, 2014 Lauren added it

There is a special place in my heart for fantasy novels. I love getting lost in a world that exists only because one person dreamed it. There’s nothing more exciting than starting a new book that feels different from anything you’ve read before.

Immediately, I knew that The Girl of Fire and Thorns was one such book. As it opens, the protagonist, Elisa, is worried about fitting into her wedding dress, and praying that her husband will be ugly because she’s so worried she’ll d
Oh man, guys, I was basically picking up what this book was putting down, and then I hit the ending.

The ending, where Elisa, the Chosen One, the one with a glowing jewel in her weird Troll-doll stomach, takes a cross-shaped amulet filled with more glowing jewels from deceased Chosen Ones and attaches it to her own jewel, where it begins to spin like a windmill.

So she’s advancing on her enemies with her shirt pulled up and a freaking jeweled pinwheel wildly circling her belly button and this is
Oct 10, 2013 MLE rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: yad, dnf
I tried, I really did, but I couldn't connect with it at all. It felt like Christian lit thinly disguised as fantasy, which is fine if that's your thing, but it's is far from mine.

Sherwood Smith
Nov 06, 2011 Sherwood Smith added it
Shelves: fantasy
Finished over lunch today--a protracted lunch, because though I am usually scrupulous about putting down the current book the moment I'm done with my food, so I can get back to the day's tasks, I finished lunch about 25 pages short of the end, and there was no way I could stop reading. No way. The climax was beautifully built to such a height of tension that anyone in the family who might have interrupted me with an innocent question would have gotten a slammed door as an answer.

The book is too
Alexandra Shostak
Originally posted at:

THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS is fantasy at its best. The world is rich, wide, and well-imagined, described beautifully and intricately, and woven into the story with such skill you barely realize Carson is building a world around you until it's already been built. Landscapes, clothing, people, and food seem real.

The characters are wonderful balances of strength and weakness, crafted with subtle details that make humans unique. Elisa, t
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
I have always loved rereading, and with my memory it's both a necessity (if I want to remember any details of my favorite books) and a pleasure. Even once I have a book pretty well ensconced in my head, I love to revisit the characters, to discover intricacies of the plot or little jokes that previously escaped me. On first rereads, I can be caught off guard by twists I had forgotten. In this case, though, my first reread of a book I've reviewed on my blog, I am rereading a book I didn't care fo ...more
Steph Sinclair
I listened to both The Girl of Fire and Thorns and Crown of Embers (which I gave 4 stars to), and this is a really great series! I plan to listen to the final book very soon this year. I’ve found that listening to High Fantasy novels is the way to go for me and the narrator for this series is fantastic. I love how this series has strong Hispanic influences and I think this may be the first series I’ve read that does this. It was also so refreshing to have a heroine who wasn’t skinny and who save ...more
If it hadn't been for the overly preachy atmosphere, I might have enjoyed it more. As it stands, I didn't see much fantasy but a lot of "bible bashing", so to speak. Fantasy played a minor role in the story, and that took away much of the excitement for me. It didn't mention anywhere in the blurb that it concentrated so much on God, his chosen one and God's will, and I feel it should considering it is the main plot and point of the book -- and so people are aware, before they pick it up.

Zoë Marriott
The Synopsis:

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
The girl of fire and thorns was my first try at historical fiction AND Fantasy, and i gotta admit, I like the combination! I applaud Rae Carson for choosing a non standard protagonist. Looking back, i was very shocked with the description of the protagonist.. an overweight, young princess with family issues. Good to know that in the land of princesses, not everyone isa carbon copy of cinderella or snow white.

Ok back to the story, got sidetracked a bit. So The Girl of Fire and Thorns. I honestly
THANK GOSH they opted for the current cover. While the original is undoubtedly attractive, it wouldn't have done this book justice. It's simply too pretty. For one, it does not convey how much magic and adventure play a role in the book. And two, superficial as I may sound, it does not match the image of her that I have. The model looks too attractive, and I'll say it, too soft.

One of Elisa's charms in my eyes is how aware she is of both her appearance and how it affects others reception of her
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
The first book in a Young Adult fantasy trilogy, The Girl of Fire and Thorns reads like a standalone: an adventurous, gripping, lively, exciting story about a young, overlooked girl who puts aside her own lifestyle preferences in order to help save a kingdom from annihilation.

Elisa is the younger princess of the small kingdom of Orovalle. Her older sister, Alodia, will be queen in her time, and she is everything that a queen should be: tall, athletic, elegant and strong, well-versed in politics,
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I write books about teens who must do brave things. I'm originally from California, but I now live in Arizona with my husband, who is the smartest and therefore sexiest man I know. My books tend to contain lots of adventure, a little magic and romance, and smart girls who make (mostly) smart choices. I especially love to write about questions I don't know the answers to.
More about Rae Carson...

Other Books in the Series

Fire and Thorns (3 books)
  • The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2)
  • The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns, #3)
The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2) The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns, #3) The Shadow Cats (Fire and Thorns, #0.5) The King's Guard (Fire and Thorns, #0.7) The Shattered Mountain (Fire and Thorns, #0.6)

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“Honor from death,” I snap, “is a myth. Invented by the war torn to make sense of the horrific. If we die, it will be so that others may live. Truly honorable death, the only honorable death, is one that enables life.” 191 likes
“I know you hate me. But don't let that make you stupid.” 115 likes
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