Review: The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2)Title: The Crown of Embers (The Girl of Fire and Thorns #1)
Author: Rae Carson
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: Hardcover, 410
Publication: September 18, 2012

In the sequel to the acclaimed The Girl of Fire and Thorns, a seventeen-year-old princess turned war queen faces sorcery, adventure, untold power, and romance as she fulfills her epic destiny.

Elisa is the hero of her country. She led her people to victory against a terrifying enemy, and now she is their queen. But she is only seventeen years old. Her rivals may have simply retreated, choosing stealth over battle. And no one within her court trusts her-except Hector, the commander of the royal guard, and her companions. As the country begins to crumble beneath her and her enemies emerge from the shadows, Elisa will take another journey. With a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with, Elisa crosses the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone's power. That is not all she finds. A breathtaking, romantic, and dangerous second volume in the Fire and Thorns trilogy.

When I first read The Girl of Fire and Thorns, the first book in this series, I generally liked it. It was a nice, fun fantasy, but I wasn’t IN LOVE with it. Well, this book completely changed my opinion about the series. After finishing The Crown of Embers, I fell absolutely in love with this series. It was exciting and so much more than I initially thought.

This book seemed even more epic than the first. The stakes are higher, the characters are in more danger (especially Elisa), and it makes the story even more riveting. I was glued to the book for the days it took me to read it.

Rae Carson is an unbelievable story teller. Her writing style is brilliant. Her words are written beautifully, and so are her characters. Starting this book was almost like starting another series itself. After the ending of The Girl of Fire and Thorns, a lot of things had changed. Principle characters were dead or scattered in different places. This meant I was introduced to a whole slew of characters in The Crown of Embers that I absolutely fell in love with *cough*HECTOR*cough*.Characters that were secondary in the first book became main characters in this book, and I fell in love with each in every one of them.

Props to Rae Carson. She knows how to write badass, strong female characters. In The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Elisa was strong, yet unsure and self-conscious, but in The Crown of Embers, we see Elisa the strongest we’ve ever seen her. By the end of the story, she takes control of the situations that she’s in and becomes the confident and badass queen we all knew she could be. Elisa grew up a lot in this book, and I loved her even more for it.

AND OH MY GOD HECTOR. There are literally no words to describe my undying love for the captain of the queen’s guard. He’s smart and hot and so darn amazing. His and Elisa’s relationship is absolutely amazing. I love how they are together, and I can’t wait to see how things turn out between them in The Bitter Kingdom.

I don’t know how much longer I can wait for the next book in the series. There are SO many unanswered questions that I want to know now. With The Crown of Embers ending the way it did, I can say that The Bitter Kingdom is going to be AMAZING. I can’t wait for it.

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