Novel: Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns #2) by Rae Carson
Published: September 18th, 2012
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Rating: 5/5 stars
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I won’t provide a synopsis, as this is the sequel to The Girl of Fire and Thorns.
“A quarterstaff is not very subtle. Or handy. If an kidnapper comes at me, what am I supposed to do? Say, ‘Excuse me, my lord, while I pull my enormous quarterstaff out of my bodice?”
I read the first book, The Girl of Fire and Thorns, a while ago and was completely blown away by it. It was an epic fantasy story with Hispanic influences and a unique main character. While I had heard from some amazing people/bloggers whose opinions I completely trust -such as Alicia @ Kernels of Nonsense– that the sequel was amazing too, I was hesitant. What if it suffered from second-book-syndrome? What if it just felt like filler and a set-up for the final book? I’m happy to say that it didn’t! It was just as incredible, maybe even more so.
In this novel, Elisa is struggling as queen. She has people opposing her rule from within the court and the outside. The Invierne haven’t given up on her land/godstone yet, and now she is even facing threats from within her own walls -even though those are much more subtle. While all of this is happening, Elisa is also desperate to find out more about her Godstone, and the destiny that supposedly awaits her. This triggers an epic journey, with friends and foes.
Wow. I can’t say much else than just, wow. This trilogy is absolutely gripping. I didn’t want to put it back down, not until I finished it and would find out what happened! Not only is Elisa’s journey intriguing, the characters are too.
We both get to more of the same characters and are introduced to new ones. The same characters would be Ximena, her maid, Hector, head of the guard and so on. We had already gotten a chance to meet them in the first book, but here it just went much deeper. Then there are some new additions as well, which I obviously can’t talk about because that would be a giant spoiler.
I learned so much more about the side characters, who each have an intriguing and unique story. I find that so important, especially for fantasy novels. You can’t just have one interesting character. Your side characters need to be intriguing too, otherwise why would I want to read about them? Rae Carson has got that down. Each of the side characters adds his own story to the whole, adds to Elisa’s life and character and helps her develop and grow. Rae Carson is the queen of writing incredible characters.
I’m going to summarize the plot in one sentence. Elisa goes on an epic journey, which challenges not only her faith in God, but her faith in her own abilities as well.
P.S. I kind of want a Hector too.
If you haven’t picked up this trilogy yet, I’d highly recommend you to do so. If you’ve read the first one but were hesitant about the sequel like I was, go ahead and read it! You have nothing to fear. I can’t wait to read The Bitter Kingdom and find out what Rae Carson has in store for me next.