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Book Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns #1)Title: The Girl of Fire and Thorns
Author: Rae Carson
Series: Fire and Thorns #1
Pages: 432
Publisher: HarperTeen
Date of Publication: 20th September 2011
Source: NetGalley
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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 needs 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.

My Thoughts:
I had sky high hopes for this. I hadn't heard a single thing about this book that wasn't absolutely glowing. All the reviews I'd read had made it seem like it was going to be THE book of the year. Unfortunately, for me, it just didn't live up to that.

That's not to say I didn't like it. I just didn't love it. There were good things and bad things, so I have a very mixed opinion about The Girl of Fire and Thorns.

I'll start at the beginning. It was really slow for me, and more than once I considered putting it down because I was getting bored. I try very hard not to put things down, but there were times when I was SO close. There was so much world-building and times when not much really happened - for example when the whole Godstone thing was explained - I just got bored. I had no interest. Then, luckily, about a third of the way through, the plot began to pick up and I finally became interested in the story.

I quite liked Elisa, though at times I just wanted to give her a slap and tell her to stop being so pathetic. She was annoying and whiny - always going on about how fat she was, but in ways I liked her a little bit. She seemed to care about the people around her even if they were spying or kidnapping her, and for that I admire her...

I liked the elements of romance in this book - they weren't overpowering but in a way they were essential to the plot. I liked how when Elisa was married off to the extremely handsome king, she didn't just fall head over heels in love with him because of how he looked, but she decided to wait and get to know him before making any decisions about how she would feel about him. It was nice then that the actual romance between Elisa and a different character was built up slowly and even though she was already married, there was no feeling of cheating or betrayal between the characters.

Overall though, The Girl of Fire and Thorns fell a little flat for me. While it did pick up towards the end, and I enjoyed the end rather a lot, I'm not sure how I got through the first half. However, don't let that put you off because almost everyone else I've spoken to who's read this absolutely ADORED it, so if it sounds like your kind of thing, go for it! You'll probably enjoy it :)

*Thanks to netGalley and HarperTeen for giving me access to this galley in exchange for an honest review! In no way has this affected my opinion of the book :)

My Rating:
I give it 3 Feet!

2011 Debut Author Challenge #25
2011 eBook Challenge #19
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #83


  1. Great review! I'd probably agree with you about the book, honestly. I have a problem with sacrificing plot and story to build up the world. If book 2 gets better, I might still have a try at it, though. :)

  2. amazing review, agreed on all points! :) the first part in the book was so damn boring! whaaaaa, i just wanted to scream and throw the book against the wall ;) but the middle and end was great...

  3. Totally agree with you, I really liked this but it didn't bowl me over really. I found Elisa kinda annoying at times too.

    The Cait Files

  4. I heard great things, and bad things about The Girl of Fire and Thorns, so I'm reaaaallly iffy about it. But I think I'll pick it up. :)


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