Author: Rae Carson
Series: Fire and Thorns #2
Release date: September 18, 2012
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
Elisa is the hero of her country. She led her people to victory against a terrifying enemy, and now she is their queen. But she is only seventeen years old. Her rivals may have simply retreated, choosing stealth over battle. And no one within her court trusts her-except Hector, the commander of the royal guard, and her companions.I put off reading The Girl of Fire and Thorns for quite a while, and was schooled on that when I read it and loved it. What actually spurred me was that I borrowed an ARC of The Crown of Embers, so I was lucky to finish the first and immediately begin the second. This sequel absolutely did not disappoint! I just might have loved it more than the first, it's that good.
As the country begins to crumble beneath her and her enemies emerge from the shadows, Elisa will take another journey. With a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with, Elisa crosses the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone's power. That is not all she finds.
We saw Elisa grow up so immensely in The Girl of Fire and Thorns that it's hard to believe she has any left to do, but boy does she. Yes, she's a hero to her country and their queen, but that doesn't mean her rule is accepted without questions or with complete trust. She has to fight for everything she wants to accomplish and cannot trust most of those within her court. In order to harness the power of her godstone and better rule her adopted country, Elisa must go on a perilous journey to the ends of the earth.
I just love Elisa. She started off so pitifully in the previous book and she became just the greatest character to root for. You can't help but love her and the fight within her. She has such love for a country that was not her own until recently and she will sacrifice everything and anything for the good of her people, even her own happiness. Like I said, I just love her.
I absolutely could not get over the romance in this one! I loved her relationship with Humberto for it's sweetness and innocence, but that love and loss has shaped Elisa. Humberto was her first love, someone she'll never forget, but it also prepared her for her great love, whose name I'm not mentioning. Their relationship is founded upon trust and respect for the other. The relationship is slow-burning and so, so fulfilling when acted upon. I was melting into a little pool of jelly at parts and crying with frustration at others. I might love this book simply for the romance, but everything else was so well done I couldn't. :)
We see a whole other side of Joy D'Arena in The Crown of Embers. Elisa's journey takes her to the exotic and mysterious islands of the country, a place that I loved exploring with her. I love the well-developed world and its beauty that just leaps from the page.
If you liked The Girl of Fire and Thorns, you will be blown away by The Crown of Embers. I cannot recommend this sequel enough. It's the epitome of young adult fantasy done perfectly. I might just be crying in my bed every night waiting for The Bitter Kingdom...
Risk a paper cut? WHY DO YOU EVEN NEED THIS? I HAVEN'T BEEN PERSUASIVE ENOUGH? :) Love you.