Title: The Girl of Fire and Thorns
Author: Rae Carson
Series: Fire and Thorns #1
Next Book: The Crown of Embers
Description from Goodreads:
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 failure of a princess.
And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.
Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.
Most of the chosen do.
I was strolling around the library one day, and I saw The Girl of Fire and Thorns just sitting on the shelf. I had seen a lot of people who not only liked, but obsessed, over this series, so I decided to give it a shot. Honestly, with the amount of love I saw for this book, I thought it would be a lot better than I thought it was.
The Girl of Fire and Thorns starts out on Elisa’s sixteenth birthday, just before her wedding ceremony to the king of a neighboring country. She’s confused as to why it is her and not her older sister that the king is choosing to marry, and she’s nervous. Honestly, I was already a little thrown at this point. I have found that a lot of fantasy books seem to take place in a more primitive time, but with kingdoms, arranged marriages, and journeys by horse-drawn carriage, this one took the cake. I’m not really a fan of historical fiction, but I decided to power on.
As Elisa is travelling with her new husband to her new home, they are attacked. I was very intrigued by this and felt like the pace was picking up a lot. I started to get excited. And then the pace slowed way, way down. Honestly, I’m surprised how strongly some people loved this book because I felt like it was extremely slow a lot of the times.
I also wasn’t a huge fan of the characters. Elisa is a very insecure girl, especially because she bears the Godstone and has no idea what her purpose is. She knows she was specifically chosen by God for some purpose, but she’s not sure what it is or if she’ll ever manage to fulfill it. Also, she’s overweight. And if you miss this point when it’s first brought up, don’t worry, it will be brought up again and again and again. And Alejandro serves very little purpose in this story, other than to take Elisa somewhere outside her childhood home because he doesn’t seem to play as big of a role as I expected. There were some minor characters that I liked a lot, but unfortunately, they just didn’t have as big of a role as I would have liked.
There were definitely several small scenes throughout The Girl of Fire and Thorns that made me very hopeful, and they were pretty good, but the pace always seemed to slow way down in between. While I never really hated this book or considered DNF’ing, there was also no urgency for me to read. I read in short bursts over the course of many days.
Though there were things that I really didn’t like about the ending of The Girl of Fire and Thorns, there was enough that I am planning on reading the next book, if not the rest of the series. I know that first books sometimes tend to be slower-paced because of world-building and introduction, so I’m hopeful enough to continue reading.