I am absolutely in love with Girl Of Fire And Thorns by Rae Carson. I’ve been gnawing at fantasies like a fiend lately and finally found this one which is a) unique, and b) feministic, and c) incredibly adorable and charming and heart warming. WELL. Apart from the moments when my heart was breaking. This author does NOT spare her characters.
It’s an incredible rich fantasy world, which was gorgeous to experience. My single complaint was that it was a bit hard to keep up with the multitude of countries and who-was-at-war-with-who. Seriously, the world is BIG. And I think it was Italian-inspired?! Whatever it was it wasn’t Britain so that twist was refreshing too.
But we have to talk about characters. Basically the protagonist: Elisa. If nothing else, read this book for the incredibleness that is Elisa. Her character development is marvellous. I’m reeling! I am! She starts as an unconfident child and develops into this clever queen. She also has an eating disorder, which you don’t often come across in epic-fantasy. Her struggles were so relatable and sensitively written. I really admired Elisa. She definitely goes down as one of the BEST characters I’ve ever read.
Other Characters Include:
- Alejandro: Totally a weak sap head. I mean, who marries a girl and then proceeds to pretend you didn’t?!! WHAT IS WRONG WITH HIM.
- Xemina: Freaky, but awesome. She killed a dude with a hairpin. Also a bodyguard/nurse.
- Cosme: She was a pleasant surprise! I thought she was just going to be a snooty maid, but noooo she turned out incredibly multi-layered. I was rooting for Cosme!
- Rosario: He’s the little 6-year-old prince and an absolute brat but yet adorable.
- Hector: OH HECTOR. He didn’t have a massive role, but I think he would’ve been a good match with Elisa.
- Humberto: He was a hesitant love interest, but more importantly part of the rebel army.
Basically I LOVED the incredible writing of these characters. (Although their names? Um, confusing much?!)
I was a little puzzled about Elisa’s “godstone”, though. It’s this magical stone in her stomach, put there by the gods. And while it made her uber special, it didn’t actually do much (it got hot and cold depending on when trouble was hear, but that’s about it) and I wished more about the godstone had been revealed. Maybe that comes in later books?
And whatever you do, MAKE SURE YOU READ THE AUTHOR’S NOTE! Oh wow. It’s definitely one of the highlights of the novel for me. It was about sexism in the workplace and what inspired the author to delve into eating disorders in her epic fantasy. She talked about her fears that her intentions with Elisa’s weight gain/loss could be misconstrued. It was a really honest and open note and I’m pretty sure this author has a heart of gold. Also, I’m very passionate about feminism and I loved that this book tackled it head on. Elisa learnt about confidence and self-image AND fought a war and got married off against her will and was immersed in a world of magic — the combination was poignant and fresh.
This is a book where I definitely need the sequel. ASAP.