I cracked open this book, the first in a trilogy, with much excitement, and it did not disappoint. The Girl of Fire and Thorns, by Rae Carson, is a richly imagined fantasy set in a world filled with deceit, romance, fast-paced adventure. Best of all, it sports a complex story-line... thank you, Rae, for not dumbing-down the narrative, a bothersome trend in many young adult books these days.
The landscape is grand and sweeping, with terrifying forests, forbidding mountains, and barren deserts.The heroine, Elisa, is refreshing and unexpected, an imperfect, over-eating princess, who sets off to fulfill her destiny, to marry a neighboring land's king to keep peace across the borders.
Expecting her future husband to be old, fat, and unpleasant, she is pleasantly surprised upon meeting her betrothed, who is equally impressed by the unexpected nature of his mate. But, married life between the two secretive kingdoms is not all comfort and romance, for there is a twist, several twists, in fact.
Elise has something special about her, a faceted magical stone that has been part of her person since birth, but she knows nothing of managing the power that pulses from the Godstone that has the potential to topple kingdoms and turn greedy men to ill deeds. She is challenged at every turn and must dig deeply to find the strength to lead a revolution.
I am eagerly awaiting Rae Carson's next two books, which I fully anticipate will be as complex and as inviting as The Girl of Fire and Thorns, which hits the shelves September 20th. Put this one on your list! It's not to be missed.