The Girl of Fire and Thorns

Rae Carson, Author
Rae Carson. HarperCollins/Greenwillow, $17.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-06-202648-4
Reviewed on: 08/01/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
Ebook - 448 pages - 978-0-06-209332-5
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4640-4939-2
Hardcover - 423 pages - 978-0-06-202649-1
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-0-06-202650-7
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-222184-1
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-222183-4
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Carson debuts with a smart, complex fantasy with stellar characters, first in a planned trilogy. Even though she bears the mysterious and rare Godstone, 16-year-old Princess Elisa has been a disappointment to her family and country. Plain, overweight, and unmotivated, she is content to wed a handsome neighboring king to cement an alliance. After an arduous journey to her new home, Elisa arrives to find that her husband wants to keep their status hidden. But there are more pressing concerns—the enemy is preparing to invade, and Elisa is kidnapped. As she is thrust into a fight for survival on the borders of her new kingdom, Elisa is hunted by dark magicians and must piece together clues to fulfill her divine decree. Elisa is a sensational heroine, striving to fulfill her potential under perilous circumstances, while realistically growing in resourcefulness, inner strength, and intelligence. The odd nature of the Godstone (which is embedded in Elisa's stomach) may occasionally pull some readers out of the story, but Carson's mature writing style, thoughtful storytelling, appealing characters, and surprising twists add up to a page-turner with broad appeal. Ages 12–up. (Sept.)
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