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I just finished The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson. It's the end of summer and I had to give my sister her kindle back. (I've commandeered it for about a month now). So I had to finish the story which wasn't difficult because it was a good story.
The Girl of Fire and Thorns follows the life of Elisa, the second born daughter of the king who lives a relatively uneventful life. Her sister is always been destined to be queen and is always been the strong smart one. But despite feeling like she doesn't deserve it, Elisa is blessed with the gift of the god stone. It sits in her belly button and means that she has great powers that can be unlocked when the time is right. This is why she is married off to the neighboring king, Alejandro, and why her life is in danger. She soon learns she is the only hope of a kingdom in great peril and goes on a great adventure to help those in need. But is Elisa strong enough to be the hero that the people need?
I decided to read this because I was ready for some high fantasy. I wanted something with a little magic and a lot of adventure. I am happy about my decision.
The Girl of Fire and Thorns, was a good read because of the characterization of Elisa. Elisa is not your typical heroine. She isn't destined to be queen and doesn't feel she deserves the power that the god stone gives the bearer. She also makes multiple references to her weight. While sometimes I felt these references were overdone I do think it is refreshing to have a heroine with a slightly larger figure. Girls need better role models that show us that strength comes from within.
I thought the world building was well done. I had a clear picture of what the world looked like and where Elisa was heading. Because the major conflict was a war I think it's interesting to know the geography and set up of the world. The faith of the characters was another interesting aspect and I think Carson presents their beliefs well. By developing her characters' beliefs she creates a world with more depth.
The pacing was a little disappointing. I often felt the plot was rushed or too drawn out. This left me feeling bogged down or too rushed. I also found the romance to be distracting and a little forced. While I love having a little romance in my novels it almost seemed as if Carson added the romance just to have it. In Young Adult novels romance is almost expected so I understand why the romance in the novel was included but I just wish it was more seamless.
This book is great if you are looking for a new fantasy series. It reminded me a little of the book Graceling by Kristen Cashore, which is a book I love. While I wouldn't say I liked this book as much it was a great book to end the summer with.