Friday, 16 September 2011

Early Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns

The Girl of Fire and Thorns / Fire and Thorns
-       Rae Carson
Publisher: UK - Gollancz & UK - HarperTeen
E-Arc with thanks to netgalley and Harper Teen

US Cover

UK Cover

Princess Elisa is a disappointment to her people. Although she bears the Godstone in her navel, a sign that she has been chosen for an act of heroism, they see her as lazy and useless and fat. On her sixteenth birthday, she is bartered off in royal marriage and shipped away to a kingdom in turmoil, where her much-older and extremely beautiful husband refuses to acknowledge her as his wife. Devastated, Elisa decides to take charge of her fate and learn what it means to bear the Godstone. As an invading army threatens to destroy her new home, and everyone at court maneuvers to take advantage of the young princess, Elisa becomes convinced that, not only is her own life in danger, the whole world needs saving. But how can a young girl who has never ridden horseback, never played the game of politics, and never attained the love of a man save the world? Elisa can't be sure, but she must try to uncover the Godstone's secret history before the enemy steals the destiny nestled in her core.
One of my favourite type of stories when I was teen were about lonely, overlooked girls who discover their own strength when caught up in an adventure beyond their imaginings – and this book falls perfectly into that type. Elisa has a destiny – she has been chosen to bare the Godstone, but she is just a sixteen year old girl, more interested in food than politics. Married to the king of neighbouring land, she quickly discovers that what she thought she knew isn’t the whole truth. Thrust into a highly charged politic situation and then the front lines of a war, Elise has to learn to trust herself in order to survive.
Elise has such a personal journey of growth throughout – she ends in a very different place from where she began and I loved her character development. She learns more about her situation and how to be a leader. Helped by a wide selection of supporting characters – from her distant husband, to her highly religious but devoted lady maid, her borrowed maid turned freedom fighter and a variety of guerrilla child-soldiers; she manages to achieve some extra-ordinary things. I loved the chocolate box selection of characters – some you will love, some you hate, some you think you will grow to like, but don’t and others surprise you by being nicer than you first thought! J
One element I loved was the variety of environments Elise travels through, from jungle travel to sand dunes – the scenery comes alive and I really enjoyed the pictures placed in mind of the various places. (By the way – I love the Fire and Thorns covers rather the generic cover of The Girl of Fire and Thorns!). The story and writing was so familiar from the books I read as a teen and I loved revisiting that time – Elise grows so much in the story I was willing her along every step.
Fun, exciting and emotional – the story was so engrossing and layered that I couldn’t wait to read the next chapter – how long do I have to wait for the next book? J
Recommended for fans of Tamora Pierce and Maria V Snyder. 9 out of 10.


  1. Oh I didn't know this book at all ! It sounds interesting and I really like Maria V Snyder, so maybe I will read this one too. Thanks for your review

  2. Nothing like a trip down memory lane with characters that remind you of what you liked best, huh.

  3. Oh I love those type of books as well. I was wondering if I'd enjoy this book and it looks like I will! Sound great!!

  4. I am loving the UK cover and I want to read this book :D

  5. Wow- I need to get my hands on a copy of this!

  6. I loved it too, Rae Carson is going to drop by My keeper shelf on Monday!

  7. Oh WOW! This sounds like a great series. :) I've never heard of it until now though. Thanks for the great review.