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, and can't see how she ever will.
Now, on her 16th birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king - a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs her to be 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.
©2011 Rae Carson (P)2012 HarperCollinsPublishers
In pursuit of truth, justice, and an end to spoilers!
Lovely writing, rich settings, detailed characters, great story! The first few hours were a little slow, but once things got going I didn’t want to stop listening! This surprised me several times, which is a very good thing. I really want to gab about this book so it’s going to be hard to discuss without giving too much away!
This is a fantasy first and foremost, and like many fantasies it’s also a coming of age story. On her sixteenth birthday, Princess Elisa is married to the king of a neighboring kingdom, and she realizes she doesn’t really know why the marriage needed to take place and that no one thought to tell her (and we readers notice she didn’t think to ask!). She begins to take steps towards adulthood by asserting herself and making some of her own decisions. It’s not long before the plot takes a dramatic turn and Elisa takes great leaps along with it. That’s when things start to really get good! Magic, political power struggles, war, adventure… Expect plot turns and a good dose of girl power!
I loved that Elisa is full-figured and not shy about enjoying food. As the story moves along she learns more about balance, but her body image and self-confidence issues made her very easy to relate to. I also loved that none of the characters were perfect on close examination. You could tell the author really knew everything about her characters and her beautiful settings – everything's so well detailed!
The magic and sorcery elements in the storyline come from the story's religion. Princess Elisa was “chosen” to carry a magic gemstone in her naval soon after she was born (okay, the naval bit is a little funny), and through it she’s in very slight communication to higher powers and possibly magics. Praying and sacred texts show up a lot, but in a way that moves the story forward rather than slowing the pace. The author took some elements from Christianity to start this fantasy religion and then totally went her own way with it. If that doesn’t sound like your thing, then this probably isn’t the book for you! Also, to any die hard romance novel readers out there, this is NOT a “girl meets boy and of course he’s her fated true love and they live happily ever after” story. There are romantic elements, but Elisa is the main focus instead of her romantic life, if that makes sense. Her story isn’t over. So pass on this one if that will be a deal-breaker for you.
This is the first book in a series but you could read it as a stand-alone. No terrible cliffhangers loom at the end, this gets to a reasonable conclusion with room for more to come later. I’ll definitely be getting the next books! Jennifer Ikeda reads beautifully. Once and a while her pace seemed a little more measured than I’d prefer, but she’s wonderful with voices and accents, and I’ll always be glad to see her name listed as narrator.
Highly recommended for lovers of fantasies and coming of age stories about girls you can really root for!
This book totally rocked! And also sucked (in a good way)! I know, that doesn’t sound right…but it does in my head.
When I first started reading The Girl of Fire and Thorns, I was shocked to discover pretty much in the very beginning of the book that the main character Elisa is getting married…like literally getting dressed for the big matrimonial event! I’ve read books where a girl was going to get married, or gets married later on, or even gets married in the beginning but quickly thereafter the marriage ends, but Elisa actually gets married in the very beginning of a YA book! Like for real! And it was an arranged marriage because of her royal status. I was shocked! Can you tell? And I was immediately so intrigued about where this story was going to go, that I was stuck!
But it wasn’t just the beginning of the book that had me intrigued to keep on reading; I also think Rae Carson did a fabulous job creating a totally compelling main character, Elisa. We are basically informed in the very first scene of The Girl of Fire and Thorns that Elisa is overweight. But I was determined to discover “how” overweight she was. And being in Elisa’s head was very entertaining. Her whole thought process and her perception of everything going on around her was very fun. It was a lot of fun watching Elisa grow on the inside and shrink on the outside. Wait…did I say that? Spoiler! And then her obsession with food and all the times she would get hungry was just hilarious! OH! And the one thing that I discuss the most with everyone after I read this book is…the Godstone! I had a really hard time picturing this stone that’s imbedded into Elisa’s stomach, and all I kept thinking about was those Troll Dolls that have a jewel in their stomach. Boy was that distracting. Oh! And I can't forget that kick butt scene her nurse did out of no where! You've got to read it to see what I mean.
I’m not even going to dive in to the whole love interest thing because that could possibly be a major spoiler! Or maybe not…
Not only was this book fun and entertaining to read, but there were some pretty crazy things happening throughout the book as well. It’s not very far into the story when there is a big plot twist and then everything changes in Elisa’s life. It was awesome! And then there is the tragedy(ies)! Yep!!! I cried a couple times in this book.
Pretty much everything that happened in this book was unexpected, but I for sure didn’t expect that it would end the way it did, and I started The Crown of Embers the very moment I finished The Girl of Fire and Thorns.
Yes, this was a very enjoyable read.
Hunger Games Trilogy, Discovery of Witches both series were well written. Authors who could paint pictures with words.
Elisa was my favorite because despite personal doubts she triumphed.
The moment that particularly moved me was when Elisa saw herself for the first time in a mirror after her time in the desert.
I chose this book because of the narrator and fell in love with the author.
Love this site! I have a very busy job, so listening to audio books enables me to keep up on great stories!
Yes. I would have had an editor do a better job. It was far too long.
They were all fine. But it was odd that she would slip characters before that character was done speaking. For example, Conde Trevino would be talking, and wham, there's the Elisa voice. However, it was still Conde Trevino's words. It was very confusing. There was a director involved, they should have caught this.
Just not exciting enough for me. It could have been though. Too long. Needed more action.
This first story in the 3 book series was so heartbreaking. To see a young girl who felt so unimportant was just plain sad. It was refreshing to see her discover herself in such a surprising way. This book helped me get through some major painting projects. Jennifer Ikeda is my favorite narrator and she delivers perfectly here.
Loved the narrator. Main character is an adolescent so she is more a victim of circumstance rather than the creater of it. I suspect she will grow stronger in the following books.
You know, it takes a little while to warm into it, but it's worth pushing through! Once she gets kidnapped, it's game on! Watch a child become a woman in the span of a few months :-)
Fueled by coffee and good stories.
Compelling. Smart. Epic.
Absolutely. I've listened to the entire series multiple times through (even if not all in one binge).
I hesitate to use the term 'comfort listen', but I've gone through this entire series enough times that it probably applies. Each time, I'm completely swept into the world Rae Carson has created and fall a little more in love with her vivid characters. I'm sure there are many more listens of this series in my future and Rae Carson is definitely on my auto buy/listen list.
I loved this book. It has a little of everything. War, religion, love, sadness, happiness, etc. It's a great story. I can't wait to discuss it at our next book club meeting.
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