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The Empire of Dreams

(Girl of Fire and Thorns #4)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  1,384 ratings  ·  259 reviews
New York Times-bestselling author Rae Carson makes a triumphant return to the world of her award-winning Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy in this extraordinary stand-alone novel. With action, adventure, and a heroine set on destroying the patriarchal limits meant to keep her in her place, The Empire of Dreams once again proves that Rae Carson is a master of epic fan ...more
ebook, 448 pages
Published April 7th 2020 by Greenwillow Books
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Eleonora Nope :) But it is still a wonderful book, full of action!
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  1,384 ratings  ·  259 reviews

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It's official, after all this time, I still love Rae Carson's writing.

Red was wonderful. I can't believe that she's the same little slave girl that we met in The Bitter Kingdom. She has really come into her own and developed into such a strong character.

Rosario has also grown into his own. And newcomer Ivan was a great addition.

I also really enjoyed the entire cast. All the boys were great. They each had such unique personalities and worked so well together.

Also, Valentino is too good for this w
Apr 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ya, feminist
This is an absolute jewel of a book, a twisty, treacherous story that will keep you turning pages until the end. Tamora Pierce fans--come runnin! You won't be disappointed. ...more
h o l l i s
Set in The Girl of Fire and Thorns series, this book takes place eight (ish?) years after THE BITTER KINGDOM and focuses not only on Red, a mixed race girl the protagonist from the main series had adopted, but also on the tensions in a world post-major conflict between two warring peoples.

I loved being back in this world, getting small glimpses of the much beloved dynamic between one of my favourite couples, and I did enjoy Red.. mostly. This book flashes between past and present perspectives, w
May 05, 2019 marked it as to-read
Jodi Meadows
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved it.
laurel [the suspected bibliophile]
Trigger Warning: Assault, Child Abuse, PTSD, racism

Red Sparkle Stone is an orphan, a prior slave and a foundling, and is about to be adopted into the royal family. When her adoption is canceled at the very last minute, Red is thrown into a mix of feelings—of rejection, of turmoil, of the idea that her found family doesn't love or want her, and is determined to regain the trust of her country so she can return to her family. So she decides to join the Royal Guard—the only woman to make the attemp
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
[2.5/5 stars] The first book in the Fire and Thorns series happens to be my favorite YA book of all time. The first two Goldseer books also rank high up on the list. I love Carson’s writing, characters, and knack for storytelling. That said, I enjoyed Empire of Dreams (which felt more like a spin-off than a continuation – it follows a side character), but not quite as much as I thought I would.

The basic premise is a girl joining the royal military in the hopes of proving her worth. It offers a b
Robin (Bridge Four)
This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart

The Girl of Fire and Thorns series was originally a trilogy but the fans really wanted to know what became of Red Sparklestone and check in on Elisa and Hector to see how they are doing.  I know I also really wanted to know as well, since Hector is one of my favorite male love interests in YA and I think the entire series is underrated, meaning I was totally onboard for another story set in this world.

Red, a former slave and half
So enjoyable! It was fun to make a return to this world and these characters, but to see it in a whole new light. And the best part? This plot called to mind stories a la Tamora Pierce, which I personally love and enjoy. Definitely a fun addition to this author’s work (and has me wanting to revisit the original trilogy)!
Definitely more of a 3.5.

I was so so excited when this book was announced because Girl of Fire and Thorns is one of my favorite YA trilogies from the earliest days of my blogging and I have a lot of nostalgia associated with it. But I did lose track of it among my numerous ARCs, other new releases and a reading slump, but I’m glad that I finally got around to it.

I can’t tell you how happy I was to be back in this world. The author does mention in an interview that this can be read as a standal
May 09, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dec 03, 2019 marked it as dnf
Shelves: ya, fantasy

I adored initial Fire and Thorns trilogy (read my spoiler free series review here) but unfortunately this spin-off didn't have the same drive and appeal for me. Simply said, storyline wasn't very engaging. It all comes down to the fact that I couldn't connect with Red (MC) and therefore found her story boring.

All that aside, Mrs. Carson really can write and this is nicely written YA fantasy novel that will definitely find its audience. It just wasnt't for me.

*ARC provided by publisher as an e
Nia •ShadesOfPaper•
You can find this review on my blog Shades of Paper.

The girl wanted to be a bird. She would spread her wings and fly far away. It would be effortless, so different from this icy trudging.”

Okay, I admit I was so excited about this book. Despite having only read the first installment in her original series, I wanted to pick it up because I believed this book was a spin-off of said series and you didn’t need to read the OG Fire and Thorns trilogy, but after falling completely in love w
julianna ➹
okay but also: girl of fire and thorns was one of my favorite series, ever, soooooooooooooo let's see ...more
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Full review coming soon, but I LOVED it.

(I got an e-galley from EpicReads Insiders)
Sara Grochowski
It's was so wonderful to be back in this world! As much as I loved the romance between Elisa and Hector in the original series, it was refreshing to discover that Red, now 17-years old, wouldn't have any romantic entanglements in this standalone companion. Instead she had really solid, nuanced friendships with the men in the story, including Hector and Rosario, who long-time Carson fans will remember from the original series, and her fellow Royal Guard recruits. I can't wait to go back and rerea ...more
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Elisa's story holds a special place in my heart. That trilogy (and short stories) are among my favorite fantasies as they combined everything I love about fantasy into one series.

So yes of course I was excited for this book. A revisit to characters of my heart? A broadening of a world I adore? Sign me up!

What I didn't expect was a novel that while its a wonderful sequel to Elisa's adventures is almost perfect on its own.

I won't deny that having some knowledge of the world didn't help me, nor tha
Jun 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was so excited to jump back into the world of Rae Carson’s, “Girl of Fire and Thorns” world. This new standalone follows Red, no longer young orphan she used to be when we last left her. She has grown into her own and is done being told what her future will be. She decides to enlist in the Royal Guard where she believes she can make something of herself.

Being a tomboy myself I really loved all the training and physical obstacles that Red had to tackle being the only woman in the first year gua
Ishi Time
May 09, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Come watch our liveshow for this book!!

I thought this was a cute ending to the Fire and Thorns series as a whole. I know it's a standalone, but it was good to know where all the characters end up. I loved Rosario and Ivan, but all the other boys from the royal guard trainees seemed pretty interchangeable. Also a character that was supposed to have died in the first Fire and Thorns books shows up?? So I was confused about that.

I can't say I was a big fan
Danielle (Love at First Page)
I really, really liked, among other things, that the main character was an atheist. We don’t see that enough in YA. Surprisingly this doesn’t have any romance, but it’s a quick and entertaining read, reminding me somewhat of a (less clever) Megan Whalen Turner book. Plus: HECTOR.
Jul 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.75 Stars
Samantha Fondriest
3.5 - Did I love returning to this world and seeing characters I loved again? Absolutely. Was I still a smidge disappointed? Unfortunately. It just didn’t quite live up to the excellence of the original trilogy. It felt younger, which isn’t necessarily bad, but just wasn’t what I was expecting from a return to this world.

I liked the “now” chapters quite a bit more than the “then” chapters, though I understand the importance of including flashbacks to Red’s childhood trauma and how that still inf
Forever Young Adult
Graded By: Stephanie
Cover Story: Montell Jordan
BFF Charm: Heck Yes!
Swoonworthy Scale: 1
Talky Talk: Continuation
Bonus Factors: Feminism, Old Friends
Relationship Status: Family Reunion

Read the full book report here.
It was good I just didn't want a book like this. Not sure if there is any killer sadly ...more
May 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't usually need continuation books from series I've loved and let go, but since this was about an adjacent character (so lower chance of messing up the original characters' HEA), and I just really missed Elisa and Hector, I took a chance. And it was worth it! Hello, old friends and new! Check out my full review over at Forever Young Adult.

*2.5 STARS*
Selena (Life of a Random)
Sep 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
I jumped into this book without researching any background so I guess this is tied into a trilogy but still a stand alone.

I read this book in a few hours it was THAT good. I love the trope of a girl being thrown into a group of only guys and wooping their *sses but also making them fall in love with her both romantically and platonically. *heart eyes*

Not only was there espionage and fighting scenes, but there was political sabotage and scheming. And a girl LIVES for it.

I also really appreciate
Apr 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
5 for 4.5~4.99. I am honestly really surprised that Carson isn't like a lot of authors out there, who'd release multiple spin-off books after the conclusion of their original series. I know a lot of people don't like it when authors do that, thinking they are just milking the original series in whatever way they can, but to fans, sometimes the world they've created are just so lovable that you don't want to part away from. And... yeah, I'm surprised because I could so see many books after this. ...more
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Rae Carson was born in 1973 in California and now lives in Arizona. She developed an enthusiasm for storytelling in her earliest childhood. She studied social sciences and worked in various industries after graduating from university before she realized her dream and became a writer. The Girl of Fire and Thorns is her debut novel.

In her own words, she "write[s] books about teens who must do brave

Other books in the series

Girl of Fire and Thorns (4 books)
  • The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)
  • The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2)
  • The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns, #3)

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