Thursday, August 23, 2012

Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns #2) by Rae Carson: review

Goodreads rating: 4.59

ARC, 410 pages
Expected publication: September 18th 2012 by Greenwillow Books

"Carson joins the ranks of writers like Kristin Cashore, Megan Whalen Turner, and Tamora Pierce as one of YA's best writers of high fantasy."-Locus Magazine

In the sequel to the acclaimed The Girl of Fire and Thorns, a seventeen-year-old princess turned war queen faces sorcery, adventure, untold power, and romance as she fulfills her epic destiny.

Elisa is the hero of her country. She led her people to victory against a terrifying enemy, and now she is their queen. But she is only seventeen years old. Her rivals may have simply retreated, choosing stealth over battle. And no one within her court trusts her-except Hector, the commander of the royal guard, and her companions. As the country begins to crumble beneath her and her enemies emerge from the shadows, Elisa will take another journey. With a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with, Elisa crosses the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone's power. That is not all she finds. A breathtaking, romantic, and dangerous second volume in the Fire and Thorns trilogy.

WARNING: If you haven't read Girl of Fire and Thorns, this will be spoilery for you.

Oh my goodness, guys, this was even more amazing than I thought it'd be. A lot of times, sequels are just filler books. But Crown of Embers had a whole new story for us to unfold, and I loved ever minute of it. I love the world of Joya D'Arena. Carson has an uncanny way of really getting her descriptions across. But since Elisa didn't travel as much in this one, the descriptions were sightly lacking compared to the first one. That is, until she reaches a very important island, but I can say no more about that! The intrigue and mystery really kept the plot rolling, as an unknown amount of organizations either want to kill Elisa or kidnap her. Meanwhile, the king is dead and she's being pressured to find a husband. One thing we really didn't get to see in the first book is Elisa being queen and ruling the country without a king. Luckily, she has Hector he guard, an her ladies Mara and Ximena, all with their unfailing loyalty. On that note, I was surprised by the decision Elisa came to about Ximena at the end, but I can say no more! Elisa makes some bad decisions, but, because she had good people to fall back on, she grew as a queen and a woman.

The romance was beautiful. It was nothing like her and Humberto's relationship, but it built into something great and I loved the journey Carson took us on through their romance. Hector was more than just a swoon-worthy love interest. He was willing to sacrifice everything for Elisa, but he was quiet about it. It was so obvious that he cared for, and it took them almost dying for him to really admit it. He is definitely my fictional boyfriend for this month. This romance did not end the same way as the last book, thank god. Speaking of which, the one thing I really love about these books is that there is a lot about god in it, but there's also a well-built fantasy world, a heart-wrenching romance, and the constant uncertainty of what god wanted from Elisa and whether he would help her or not. Hector was more like Elisa's guiding light than her godstone as, and that's saying a lot for this book.

I liked the edition of one of the evil sorcerer race being somewhat friendly, though compliant seems more accurate. But he actually was loyal to Elisa, despite what race he came from. This book has so many life lessons, but it's set in such a fantastical world that you don't realize what they are until you've taken the time to go over everything that happened. And you can take everything in this book to heart, and even though this is a fantasy novel, I feel myself relating to it more than a lot of books out there that take place in current society. Carson weaves a beautiful tale in this highly anticipated sequel, and I cannot wait to see what happens next!!

1 comment:

  1. OMG that was such a great review! I also loved Hector and Elisa romance so much! I also loved that he always told her to never give her life for his! He is absolutely one of the best guys in YA! I can't wait to post my review :)


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