Vicky's Reviews > The Girl of Fire and Thorns

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
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Aug 12, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, ya
Read in August, 2011

There were things about this book I didn’t like, and yet, I couldn’t put it down. The story drew me in from the first page and didn’t let go until the last, and even then, I wanted more.

In this story, we follow the adventures of Elisa, a sixteen year old princess who also happens to possess a Godstone, a gem permanently embedded in her navel. It appeared there on her naming day, a symbol to all that she is something special. Unfortunately, Elisa doesn’t feel special. She’s not tall, slender and beautiful like her older sister. Nor does she want to have anything to do with ruling a kingdom, which is just as well since she’s the younger sister. She would rather sit in the kitchens eating pastries than trouble herself to do much of anything beyond study old scriptures.

Then her father marries her off on her sixteenth birthday to a king from a neighboring country, a man she’s never met and never even sees until they are pronounced husband and wife. She is whisked away from her home and her comforts with the knowledge she is no more than a peace pact between the two countries. What follows is a story of how Elisa finds herself. She develops a spine, finds courage in the midst of war, and love in the camp of enemies. She also discovers what she was meant for and how to use the Godstone to help herself and others.

This is a story full of betrayal, adventure, love and friendship, and the ugliness of war. Elisa describes herself as a fat sausage and worse. I am glad the publishers changed the original cover art - though it was pretty, it did not portray the character correctly. Not even close, actually. Also, this is a highly religious story that is told in first person present tense (two of those things I really don’t like), but the story is told so well, that I shrugged off those issues and just read. By the end of the story, I was totally in love with Elisa and cheering for her. Definitely a story worth reading. I hope to see more from this author and more from Elisa.
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