The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
The second book in the Fire and Thorns trilogy follows our Queen Elisa as she goes on quest to try to learn more about her godstone and how to control it in order to save her Kingdom.
I enjoyed this story and consumed it so fast as I just wanted to know what happened. This story did seem a bit better than the first book, but it still has some issues. I really appreciated some of the topics the author tackles that were good to see in a book for young readers. Things like consent, and power dynamics and communication in a relationship. Some of the “issues” with the relationship seemed to just be creating trouble for the sake of drama and conflict…especially with the resulting solution seeming to be at odds with the previous restrictions to the relationship (hard to discuss without spoilers…..). If someone is good enough for a marriage alliance with one monarch, why is it not okay for another?
I continue to dislike the magic system, as it is fleshed out there are some glaring inconsistencies and you can tell it is being molded to fit into the story. The ultimate conflict of this story was kind of a let down in the end and felt like it was solved far too easily for the build up. We spent all this time working towards something that everyone has been searching for and……pretty much nothing happens.
I really enjoy the people and friendships in this story, they are what holds up the story for me. Love it that we can have friendships between people without our any romantic inclinations, and there wasn’t any insta-love in this book, which is refreshing. The adventure was fun though, like I said the ultimate climax was a bit laughable.