Dorri's Reviews > The Girl of Fire and Thorns

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
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's review
Jun 10, 2012

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bookshelves: fantasy-traditional
Read from June 05 to 08, 2012

This book was not what I expected. It's description made it seem as if it would be a book I would enjoy. And I did. But it is the kind of book that I can only take in small doses, because of it's extreme religiousness. I must add, I am not Christian. And sometimes this book was overwhelmingly Christian. Even so, the books characters were rich, vibrant, and alive.

Elisa is the chosen one. The bearer of a Godstone. She is also younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything. And she fears she never will. When she is secretly married to a King from another country she learns she could be everything to his people. People who need her. If she can fulfill her birthright as a Godstone bearer. If she can find the courage and the power to do so. If she doesn't die before she can complete her task. Most of the chosen do.

The most remarkable things about this book is Elisa's transformation. Physical transformation. Elisa is the pamperd chosen of God. The bearer of the Godstone. As such, she has become a recluse of a princess who prefers history books and food to people or movement. She understands that she is fat. This is a fact. When she walks, her belly moves, her breast weigh heavy, her steps are plodding rather than graceful. Bus Elisa doesn't care. Sweets are her refuge from emotions. Books help her escape her responsibilities of being a bearer of a Godstone. All of this changes when the rebels of her new husbands kingdom kidnap her in the hopes that being the bearer will help them change the course of a war they are losing. Elisa doesn't struggle against her captors, she understands that she is physically unable to. She accepts what she cannot change and begins to learn. As she is forced to walk through the desert to the frontline of the war, her body changes without her notice and her heart is swayed by the rebels. It is not until weeks after her abduction, that Elisa takes a bath. Washing her sleeping robe, the only peice of clothing from her life before being kidnapped, Elisa tries to put back on. But her body is no longer the size that it was. The sleeping robe is two times the size she is, with arms holes that start at her waist. Yards of fabric that now hangs off her frame. It shocks her. It changes her. It doesn't mean that she's magically a fit warrior. No, Elisa still struggles to keep up with the rebels as they walk. She still gets short of breath after excersize, she doesn't use a weapon well (if at all), but she does finally start trying. Trying to be what the prophecies say she could be. She starts to plan. She pulls together the rebels and, using her book learning, teaches them how to go to war against a larger force. Not by brute strength, but by picking at the edges. And through all this, Elisa prays. Devoutly. Often. She is a Godstone bearer and is shows.

I may wait a month before delving back into this world, but I will read the next book, just to see what changes Elisa goes through.

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