January 10, 2012
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
by Rae Carson
Elisa hasn’t done anything impressive in her sixteen years. Sure, she’s a princess but her sister is amazing. She knows all about the workings of their father’s kingdom, rides horseback and can hold her own in any situation.
Elisa? She eats.
In fact, that’s what she’s dreaming of doing as she’s fitted into her wedding gown. She’s nervous about meeting the groom, Alejandro, King of a neighboring land. Elisa also wonders why it is so important that she marry right now. What good could she be in helping the king of a threatened land?
Maybe it has something to do with her Godstone. The Godstone, lodged in her navel, marks her as chosen by God. It appeared on her wedding day and it tells one and all that she has been chosen for a great task.
Elisa only hopes that she’ll be up for it. But until that destiny finds her she takes solace much as she always has — in her books and food. Before she can make a position for herself in this new court, she is kidnapped and makes a long trek across the desert. In a small village, she finds a group of desperate people who are sure that this bearer of the Godstone can save them from the war that has already taken so many lives, a war that her husband the kind doesn’t know is already being fought.
This is definitely a girls book, in spite of the battle scenes and fighting. There is simply too much time spent on emotion and introspection to fully engage most boy readers.
Too bad for them.
Because this was a book I couldn’t put down. In spite of all of her waffling about, Elisa is a character who pulls on your sympathy. She takes solace in food. She’s amazingly insecure. She knows that most every woman is prettier than she is and that her brains aren’t going to score points for her with people who value pretty over smart. She knows that life holds great things for her, if only she can figure out what they are.
Sound like anyone you know? Me too.
If you’ve got a tween or teen who loves fantasy, sword and sorcery or adventure, this book is a must read. If you love any of these things, take the time to read it yourself. It is chock full of romance, intrigue and lessons on faith, faith in God and faith in yourself.
Take the time to read it during a few of this winter’s cold, dark nights.