Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
First in a Young Adult fantasy series we follow Princess Elisa as she makes a political marriage to a Kingdom on the verge of war. Elisa is the bearer of the godstone a mysterious stone that appears on someone who is destined to provide a great service to the nation. We follow Elisa as she tries to find her place and discover what great task she is meant to perform.
This was a fun little beginning to a series and I liked some of what was trying to be done here. The author was trying to create a more relatable and realistic character by making Elisa overweight and insecure, overshadowed by her prettier more outgoing sister. I originally was like yes! representation! How nice to have a princess/queen who in not valued for her good looks but for her brain and actions. But then ultimately I was disappointed, as she lost weight and was miraculously transformed to be outgoing and decisive and suddenly everyone respected and paid attention to her. Literally nothing good happened to her until she lost the weight. This really seemed to be the wrong message to me…hey are you fat and insecure…well loose weight and you will be able to save a kingdom and kings and rebels will respect you and fall in love with you!! Please….
I did enjoy the adventure aspect and liked the time she spent with the rebels. I thought there was a bit too much focus on religion and it got very tiresome very quickly, it would have been much more interesting if the magic system wasn’t based on religion, perhaps this will be addressed in later books. The resolutions to conflict also became a little repetitively convenient, everything seemed to fall into place so conveniently all the time. There was also quite a few plot holes and things that bothered me. It was hard to believe that the rebels so quickly completely trust her to plan their rebellion, and generals and kings are wanting this young girl with zero experience to assist them.
I don’t know that I would quite recommend this series yet, it did have fast paced action and was easy to read…but really seemed to be lacking much substance. I will continue the series in the hopes that it will improve. (and that the magic system will involve something other than praying)….