The Girl of Fire and Thorns is the first in the Fire and Thorns series written by Rae Carson. The second book is called The Crown of Embers. The third book, The Bitter Kingdom, is set to be released in August of this year.
i'm usually interested in the books my book clubs choose to read. however, i had never heard of this one. the cover completely turned me off from reading it and the first few chapters felt like a chore to read. but i'm glad i stuck with it because i ended up enjoying this book and am looking forward to the next book in the series.
Elisa has a belly button ring that is a gift from God. it connects her to him and it gives her life a meaningful purpose, except she doesn't know what that purpose is. at first, i found Elisa to be a whiny insecure kid. reading from her POV was giving me a headache and i was just about to throw the book at a customer in frustration when Part 2 of the book kicks in. thank god for that because i thought this book was gonna be a lost cause. Elisa meets some people that believe she is their salvation. slowly but surely, she starts to believe it too and grows into a pretty reliable and likable heroine.
i wouldn't say this is a romance novel at all. there are some love interests for Elisa but Rae Carson really puts in on the back burner to focus on Elisa discovering who she is and what she's capable of. her husband, Alejandro, was not at all interesting to me. the only thing that caught her attention about him was his looks and his inability to make decisions. that right there was enough for me to almost completely forget about him. Humberto, on the other hand, was a great character and i wish he had had a little more back story to him. he really helped Elisa find herself, making me like him even more.
the religion and fantasy tones of the book are its strong points. i was pleasantly surprised to find that the book wasn't preaching at me about faith and God. it's a major part of the book but it's not thrown in your face on every page. the fact that the magical elements came from God was fascinating to me. it's really all about faith and having the strength to believe in something and fight for it. everyone can agree with that. i hope with the second, Elisa and her friends just jump right into the action. i don't think i can take more of her slow pacing.
3.5 STAR RATING