The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Summary: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 sixteenth 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.
I think it’s becoming more and more clear that YA fantasy is – sadly – not my genre. Few YA fantasy stories – if any at all – have truly managed to impress me, and, to be completely honest, I’m starting to wonder why I even continue reading them at all. Sadly, The Girl of Fire and Thorns is no different and I am left with a feeling of dissatisfaction and mediocrity.
16-year-old princess Elisa has a special gift: implanted in her navel is a “Godstone,” a gift from God marking her as the “Chosen One.” Elisa gets her first glance of her destiny when she is married to a man in a faraway kingdom filled with the signs of a brewing rebellion.
There isn’t much in The Girl of Fire and Thorns that hasn’t already been written about in other YA fantasies (Throne of Glass and Shadow and Bone in particular come to mind), and I just wish it had something more to add to the genre.
Elisa was a heroine I struggled to connect with. She believes she is “special” simply because of her Godstone, and she’s constantly found complaining or whining – mostly about her weight or her “destiny”. (Also, I found it unrealistic how at the beginning of the story Elisa was described as being extremely overweight, and then after taking a long trip through the desert she suddenly becomes thin.)
All in all, this was quite a disappointment for me, and I doubt I’m going to continue the series. If you want some solid YA fantasy, you’re better off reading Throne of Glass or Shadow and Bone instead.