Joint Audiobook Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1) by Rae Carson
Series: Fire and Thorns #1
Published by: Greenwillow Books on September 20, 2011
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Source: Audiobook Purchase
View on: Goodreads
Grab it: Buy on Amazon
About the Book:
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. She 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 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.
Girl of Fire and Thorn by Rea Carson was interesting. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t my favorite story either. It opens of the sixteenth birthday/wedding day of Elisa. The youngest daughter of the king of a small isolated kingdom, she doesn’t see herself as anything special. She is short, chubby and has no particular skills. The only thing that she feels is special is the gem embedded in her navel. Known as the Godstone, she is the first bearer chosen in a century. This reason is the only one she can fathom as to why her father chose her to wed King Alejandro. Immediately following her wedding, she is whisked away from her home and sent to live in his kingdom. When they finally arrive, Elisa’s life gets even more difficult when Alejandro ask her to keep their marriage and her identity as the bearer of the stone a secret. She is also wanted by enemies of the kingdom who intend to use her as a weapon.
In a lot of ways I liked this story, but I hated that throughout the majority of the story you feel bad for Elisa. Most of us can relate to her in some way, body image issues and the feeling of being inadequate just to name a few. But all the other things the happened to her made the story almost unbearable to read. While it was satisfying to watch her come into her own, the journey to get there was terrible to read. There were also some other things about the story I absolutely could not stand. The way she loses weight for instance, while I understand that she was lost in a desert and starvation is bound to happen, I don’t like that this is how she lost the weight.
For a fairy tale lovers (and closet romantics) like myself, this book is a serious reality (as real as it can be) check. It’s not easy to be a princess/ secret queen/ bearer of a supernatural magic stone. If you can get passed the general sadness of it, the story is actually pretty interesting. I haven’t completely given up on this series and I hope the next installment is better.
2.5 Out of 5 Controllers
I completely have to agree with Jennifer on this one. I actually started out listening to this audio ages ago, and when I finished, I loaned it to my cousin because I just didn’t know how I felt about it. It was good…not great. Nothing really stood out in the story for me to say WOW. I think most of my issues stem from how the first half just drags…and drags…and drags on. It was like slowly walking up a hill and never actually reaching the top. Not until a little over midway through did I begin to fall in love with the story.
I’m not sure if it was the writing style of the narrator for The Girl of Fire and Thorns, but between the monotone voice of the MC to the lack of action in the beginning, I was less than impressed. I wanted to love this novel and by the end, maybe I did. Heck a part of me does I think in some way, feel “the feels”. The side characters to me are what kept it alive. I think they were very well written and I enjoyed what each brought to the story. I just wished I could have loved Elisa. She was always so down on herself, and then I’d see a spark in her and a feisty spirit. I wish I’d gotten more of that spirit through out the entire novel. She kept putting herself down so much I just wanted to thump her forehead and tell her to “woman up!”. At some point, you expect the main character to get a backbone and speak her mind or just do SOMETHING for his/herself. In this case, we don’t get much of that. Which is very sad because Fire and Thorns #1 could have been really, really, awesome.
Overall, read it. You might like it. You might love it. But if you’re looking for a strong character that shines bright across the pages…you might not find it here. It’s unusual for me not to love a good fantasy story, but this one…totally missed the mark.
2.5 Out of 5 Controllers
Books in The Series: