The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Book 1/3) by Rae Carson Book Review

Review by: dancingorain.


Elisa, the younger of two princesses, has always been overshadowed by her older sister, Alodia, and has never believed in herself.  She is fat and believes that she’ll never amount to much other than being a piece in an arranged marriage to King Alejandro, who does not seem all that invested in her in the first place.  But at the same time, only he and a few select others know that she bears a power most will kill for.  She is the bearer of a Godstone imbedded in her navel.

She feels like she’s going nowhere fast and will never be worth much of anything, but that changes the day she’s kidnapped by revolutionaries who believe that she may be their savior, especially one, Humberto.  Join Elisa on her adventure and discovering just how strong and powerful she really is.

I really appreciate stories that have a character start off as weak (or something of that sort) and over time grow stronger physically and/or mentally, but unfortunately I don’t feel all stories do that specific journey justice.

A Girl of Fire and Thorns is not one of those stories.

I think that Elisa’s character development from being weak and confident to starting to become stronger was done well and once I finish all the books in my unread bookcase, I’ll definitely go back to this series and see how this character continues to progress.

Another aspect of this book I appreciate is it technically could have been a standalone novel instead of the first in a trilogy and still been a good story.  While the ending did begin to set up the second novel in the series, if Carson had wanted this to be a single book, it could still have worked out that way.

The book did lag and lose me in some places (although rarely,) and even when that happened, the pace or my interest picked back up within a matter of a few pages.

I did like the fact that most, if not all, characters were a race other than Caucasian.  This is not to say that I have anything against reading stories that have white protagonists.  The majority of books I read are primarily Caucasian or half-Caucasian in a predominantly white society so it was nice to read about a world and characters who were a different race and a culturally different fantasy world.

All-in-all, I would say that I enjoyed this book more than Cinder from Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles, but less than the Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu.  I would recommend to anyone that likes epic/high fantasy stories, but for teens.