Nievie's Reviews > The Crown of Embers

The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
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Oct 21, 2012

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Read on October 21, 2012

I know, I know, why? I was clearly unimpressed with the first book, so why did I come back for more? Insomnia. I'd read all the other books in the house and still couldn't sleep, so I managed to make it through the first 160 snoozy pages to where the story actually get's interesting.
Confession. I read the last page of the book first. Truth. I do not regret my actions.
You may all now quietly judge.

Why does Carson like spending so much early plot building on the wanton killing of NPCs? Look, there are only so many friends, lovers and guardsmen you can kill off before I start to wonder why your heroine isn't Lady Macbeth crazy yet. The more people you kill the less important those death become, making all of Elisa's grief pangs over her ever increasing stack of bodies all the more disenchanting and vain. Boo hoo, my childhood poison taster died, boo hoo, my grown up poison taster died, boo hoo, the real poisoner died and I had to maim my kitchen staff, boo hoo, my husband died, boo hoo, my illicit boyfriend died, boo hoo my hot-like-lava-guardsman-who-I-want-to-be-my-boyfriend's protege died, boo hoo, my hot-like-lava-guardsman-who-I-want-to-be-my-boyfriend died, oh wait no, I healed him, boo hoo my lady in waiting died, boo hoo, my other lady in waiting died, oops, wait, no I healed her too.
It's like watching a law and order marathon with the same disaffected hyper violence dressed up as drama.

Seriously, the Inviernos? It's like Na'vi made babies with Klingons. I loath noble savage tropes, I just do.

Look. I love making out with hot guys in the tropics, I really do, but guys who want to keep your purity intact, they smack you upside the head at the mere notion of becoming lovers, and don't risk long passionate kisses with you after you confess that you'd put out. I think it's yet another way we disservice young women by promoting unrealistic expectations in romance. Hormones are confusing and when you're 17, typically overpowering. When you are so completely consumed by your attraction to someone it's hard to think beyond it, even as adults, we make rather stupid decisions based on urges rooted in hormones. So it seems unrealistic that a girl so obviously versed in tactics and who's already lost one beloved in war, would make the same mistake twice; the romance element is just a shoddy plot device depicted in an unrealistic manner through both books.
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