Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Review: The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

Elisa is a hero. She led her people to victory over a terrifying, sorcerous army. Her place as the country’s ruler should be secure. But it isn't. Her enemies come at her like ghosts in a dream, from both foreign realms and within her own court. And her destiny as the chosen one has not yet been fulfilled. To conquer the power she bears once and for all, Elisa must follow the trail of long-forgotten—and forbidden—clues from the deep, undiscovered catacombs of her own city to the treacherous seas. With her goes a one-eyed spy, a traitor, and the man who—despite everything—she is falling in love with. If she’s lucky, she will return from this journey. But there will be a cost. 

Title: The Crown of Embers 
Series: Fire and Thorns #2
Published: September 18th 2012 by Greenwillow Books
ISBN: 0062026518 (ISBN13: 9780062026514)

When I read the book jacket of The Crown of Embers, I was laughing at the comments of how amazing this book was. I'm not exactly sure why I picked up the sequel to this series. Quoting myself, "Will I be reading the next book in this series? Probably not...unless I feel like wasting a few hours of my day." I hated the first book, but I'm so glad I did decide to read the second. Never in my experience has a series started off with two stars then moved up to five stars! It definitely wasn't what I expected.

Unlike the last book, the relationships between characters is much more visible. Elisa has grown so much as a character. She's stronger, smarter, and braver. Also, she doesn't feel as dependent on food as she used to and has learned to embrace herself instead of constantly thinking negative thoughts. She deals with sacrifice and after her journey through the desert, actually thrives through hardships. Elisa works so hard for the good of the country, and has accepted it as her home. She is a natural born leader.

Ximena is a character who is the closest thing to a mother, warning boys away and caring for Elisa's safety. Mara, her lady's maid, is always there for her like a true friend while also making witty comments that would make me smile. Oh! And how could I forget about dear little Rosario? He is such a sweet kid, and I absolutely loved the scene when he asks her to dance!

However, my favorite relationship was between Elisa and Hector, the Commander of the Royal Guard. They could have a conversation simply by their gestures and actions, and always seemed to know when the other was upset. It's a love full of struggle, but I hope to see them together soon.

I picked up this novel with the lowest of expectations, so I never thought I would be saying this about this novel, but it was one of the best I've read. Like her characters, Rae Carson has grown so much as a writer and I am actually excited to read the next book, The Bitter Kingdom, which comes out on August 27th!

"Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them." -Lemony Snicket
Book Nerd and Proud,

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