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

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  58,804 Ratings  ·  5,786 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
ebook, 300 pages
Published September 20th 2011 by Greenwillow Books
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Erin Reilly-Sanders She addreses this in an interview posted at -apparently she was working on her Spanish to connect with her…moreShe addreses this in an interview posted at -apparently she was working on her Spanish to connect with her Spanish-speaking coworkers and wanted to feature a non-anglo-centric fantasy world.(less)
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ElegantElsa No you weren't, I cried to!! It was so sad I'm like "!!" But (You're gonna hate me for this) it was...fitting. Though so sad. But…moreNo you weren't, I cried to!! It was so sad I'm like "!!" But (You're gonna hate me for this) it was...fitting. Though so sad. But it made the end of the story the end. like all the ends had been tied. that it was a good finish. but still...
(....... O

I so sad!!!!(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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The Holy Terror
Jun 10, 2012 The Holy Terror rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to The Holy Terror by: Elena
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
"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
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
Emily May
I feel torn about The Girl of Fire and Thorns.

On the one hand, there's not much room to accuse this book of being slow - the action is constant, zipping along from a bloody battle, to a lusty encounter (PG-13, of course), to another dramatic reveal, to a kidnapping. Elisa's life spins off in a crazy new direction that starts with her marriage to a King of a nearby country in chapter one, and the pacing never slows down after that.

Elisa is a 16-year-old princess and was born the bearer of a Godst
May 22, 2011 Tatiana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of "Divergent," "Matched," "Delirium"
Recommended to Tatiana by: Paolo Bacigalupi's blurb
Shelves: ya, fantasy, why-the-hype, 2011
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
Nov 29, 2014 Katerina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
“And God raised up for Himself a champion. Yea, once in every four generations He raised him up to bear His mark.”

What better way to take a break from stupid reality things like essays and demanding classes than a YA fantasy book about war, prophecy, an unlikely heroine and mouth-watering food? Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleasantly surprised!

“Lucero-Elisa. Heavenly light, chosen of God. His words suffocate me as surely as his embrace. All my life, I've been reminded that I am destined for
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ (of badger and SNAKE)

1.5 stars. All in all incredibly underwhelming and somewhat both idiotic and infuriating. Trust me, I would love to tell you that my distaste only revolves around personal matters - as a strong case of "it's not the book but me", let's say - but in all honesty, I really don't think that and the problems I had with The Girl of Fire and Thorns were way too numerous to be left ignored.

"You must not lose faith, child. No matter what. Do not doubt God or his choosing of you. He knows infinitely more
Simona Bartolotta
"God's will. How many times have I heard someone declare their understanding of this thing I find so indefinable?"

Sometimes it's fascinating how authors can synthesize their own books in just one sentence strategically hidden in the books themselves. Hats off.

•One of the main complaints readers usually have when it comes to this book is the main character. In all honesty, Elisa may be difficult to stand, especially because, especially at the beginning, her way of thinking is strictly linked to
Lindsey Rey
Mar 16, 2014 Lindsey Rey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy, 2014
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 don't know.
I liked some parts of it, but it was weird/draggy/& preachy in parts, too. Guess I'll settle on 3 stars?

First off, the whole stone in the belly button thing was sort of strange...& eventually (when she tried to dig it out) off-putting for me.
I just...ewwww.


Now, supposedly, she was given the stone by God to help her do something special, but the records of the previous Stone Bearers seemed sketchy at best. Some of them accomplished something, some of them died young, and most
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
Cait (Paper Fury)
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
Jun 20, 2011 tonya. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, fantasy, 2011, arcs, poc
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
May 05, 2011 Cinda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
I LOVED THIS BOOK! So freaking epic! Elisa is just one of those characters you fall in love with.
May 14, 2014 Ashley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, owned

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!
Edward's Ghost Engine (also known as.......... Jinky Spring)
3.5 stars


Well I don't think I've ever read a book where both the heroines love interests die.. who will she spend forever with now?

The storyline of this book is basically about a princess trying to find out what her role is as a bearer and trying to find a way to save her country from inland enemies who want access to the port for whatever reasons and will stop at nothing to get it. It was never answered why the enemy wanted a complete collection of godstones or why they so desp
Shannon (leaninglights)
I really enjoyed this one! It didn't pull me in right away but I quite enjoyed the second half of the book! Moving along to COE right away!
Sep 14, 2015 Lindsay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, grief
DNF at 9%. I really wanted to like this book. It's just sad is I begun reading there was just something missing. I don't know what it was. I just didn't really care that much about what happened. And I know I did not read very far but I just didn't care too. It's not a terrible book persay. From where I got to it she's not particularly interesting. And maybe I can't judge because I didn't get part all but I just didn't care. It wasn't like I hated it or anything. I don't know. I definitely wante ...more
Katerina Kondrenko
7 out of 10

Ревью в моем блоге/This review on my blog Living A Thousand Lives (please use Chrome/Yandex browser or Android/IOS to see the page; otherwise, spoiler-tags I use to make my post compact may not work)

Fyre – Away From Home
Katie Melua – The Flood
Les Friction – Firewall

Genre: high-fantasy, YA
Stuff: ugly duckling, Spanish tune, court intrigues, dessert
Fail: too much religion and fat-talks
WOW: MC's transformation
POV: 1st-person, female
Love-Geometry: seeming, almost zero

Robin (Bridge Four)
5/9/16 $2.99 on amazon here

I will preface that I was a little worried about this book when I started. It seemed like there would be some religious intonations and sometimes that can get a bit preachy and be a total turn off for me. I will say that wasn’t the case at all. The Godstone is a part of the story but Elisa is the story. I can truthfully say I never felt preached to or at.

The book starts out with the wedding of a princess to a prince. But she isn’t your normal princess or heroine in boo

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
Mar 14, 2013 Victoria rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
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
Jill Myles
Jul 19, 2010 Jill Myles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, re-read
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
Nov 25, 2012 Summer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those with very low standards for YA fantasy
Shelves: annoying-mc, fail, 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
Norah Una Sumner
"I loved and lost and survived. Me, not the stone in my navel."

I didn't think I'd enjoy reading this book so much.The first half of the book is kind of confusing and maybe even too complex to comprehend,but the second half of the book is so good-I finally connected with the main character,Elisa,and her story.I also really liked Ximena,Cosme and Lord Hector(crushing hard on him ♥‿♥).However,I didn't expect this book to be so...religious.I'm not so sure how I feel about that but if the story is
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
more like 4.5, i think? the middle portion dragged SO much, but the rest of it was pretty awesome. i let this sit on my shelves for years before picking it up and i'm regretful. the best part is that the MC is fat (she loses -some- weight because of her living conditions but ultimately stays that way) and BADASS. also, the romance is to die for . . . and that's all i'll say about that. carson's writing is so beautiful and so luxurious that i wanted to take a bath in her words at times. i will de ...more
Jun 09, 2015 Nastassja rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of YA fantasy with rich, vivid world

Actual rating: 3.4

I am among the last few people who haven't read this book yet and after I read Walk on Earth a Stranger and liked it a lot, I couldn't wait any longer and decided to finally read The girl of fire and thorns and see what all the hype is about.

After finishing the book I have this image imprinted in my head

Only the heroine should have dark hair and brown skin and, alas, no dragons in the background. My point is Elisa - MC of this book - reminds me in the end a lot of Daenerys

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
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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)

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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.” 244 likes
“I know you hate me. But don't let that make you stupid.” 137 likes
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