What: The Girl of Fire and Thorns
When: September 20th
Why: HIGH FANTASY <3
Before we start, I totally loved this book. And it said it was for fans of Graceling. Which made me put it up to a higher standard, which means it truly is awesome.
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 needs 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.
The Girl of Fire and Thorns starts off with Elisa getting shipped off to marry Prince Alejandro, who is hot and nice but she has a completely self-esteem issue because she's overweight. But the problem is, all the kingdoms are in the midst of war. Elisa starts to find out she doesn't really belong anywhere, because people mostly believe in her because as a child, she was blessed with the godstone. Now, the godstone is pretty much this jewel bestowed upon her as a baby that means she's destined for greatness. And sure enough, hell yeah she is!
My favorite thing about High Fantasy is always the world-building, and this book doesn't disappoint! Rae's writing is lush and vivid in its detail, but not pounding you with pages and pages of description. She creates a believable world with religion weaved into the writing. But don't worry, it's not preachy or anything like that, but simply just an important part of the novel and who Elisa is. The journey of Elisa finding herself and her confidence in being a princess was heart-breaking but I loved it something fierce, because Elisa went from being a low self-esteem, eat out your feelings type of girl to being fiercely independent, totally kickass, and someone who can actually rule a country.
Something April's review touched on and I also saw was people having problems with the fact Elisa becomes a lot more confident once she starts losing weight because of all the warfare and desert walking. And to them, I say: what's the big deal? Losing weight is a confidence booster, and because she didn't feel like she had to eat out her problems anymore and would solve with her awesome brain, just added to that. In the end, she never lost her appreciation for food (guys, don't read this on an empty stomach. Her descriptions of food are absolutely mouth-watering.). She was strong-willed and was willing to do anything to help not only the ones she loved, but she had a sense of devotion to her people and her kingdom.
All the side characters were so real and fleshed out and totally believable in their bravery and strength. Finally, we've got the love interests and like I said, Elisa' journey is heart-breaking. I totally called it from Alejandro from the beginning, plus he's a total wuss. Humberto was awesome and made my heart break and just ahh, not gonna spoil. And then we have Hector, who I feel like we're gonna get some more glimpses of in the next book!
Overall, an amazing book that I recommend to lovers of high fantasy and kickass heroines. And! The ending isn't a cliffhanger even though it's a trilogy! It could've worked perfectly as a stand-alone and I LOVE THAT.