[review] The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Elisa is a Chosen One, chosen by God to complete an unknown task.  She does not know, however, how she’ll be able to complete her task, unless it is eating some sweet or moving up a gown size, because she is quite capable of both of those things. When she is married to  a handsome King, who she is sure cannot find her even handsome in return, she hopes it is a step towards her destiny. With her new kingdom in turmoil, Elisa must look deep within herself to discover why she was Chosen.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)I had several blog friend recommend this book to me, and I can totally see why. This contains two of my favourite elements: fantasy and fantastic female characters. Not to mention a total disregard of both novel and fantasy norms. I love when authors push the boundaries!

The first thing that caught my attention in this book was the protagonist’s weight, and I think this was done very purposefully. In the beginning, this is the most important characteristic of Elisa (except maybe for her Godstone). I’m not sure if I’ve ever read about an overweight protagonist before, and certainly not in a fantasy novel. Having Elisa focus on the insecurities she faces because of her body was brilliant, but I’ll admit that in the beginning I was wary. I mean, how much was a girl who was obviously not at a healthy weight due to an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise going to be able to do in a physical way? Also, I was at a loss as to why she was so upset with her body. In Medieval times, or any time that there was a hierarchy of rich and those who can hardly keep themselves fed, larger woman are considered to be beautiful because big means that they’re well-fed and well-fed means money and means of supporting a husband and children. This discrepancy created an initial stumbling block for me, but looking back on the story I think it was necessary and helps to emphasize the personal journey of Elisa which is both emotional and physical.

Besides the amazing and realistic character growth, my favourite aspect of this book is how much it does exactly what you do not expect. I don’t want to say anything more so as not to give away some major events, but OH MY GOD. I thought this book was going to fall into a YA plot device and then it didn’t and it was amazing and hurt so much!!!

Books with similar aspects

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Mastiff by Tamora Pierce

recommended to YA fantasy fans who are tired of the clichés

not recommended to fans of a straight forward romance

Don’t just take my word for it!

“If I could, I would put this book into the hands of every person I meet.” – Angel @ Mermaid Visions

“I honestly think The Girl Of Fire And Thorns is a great book to put people on the road to epic high fantasy.” – April @ Good Books and Good Wine

“I couldn’t believe it when I found that Rae Carson was a debut author. I felt like saying: “Go ahead. Pull the other one.” Because the Girl of Fire and Thorns is absolutely masterfully crafted.” – Jen @ Almost Grown-Up

“While The Girl of Fire Thorns lacks some world-building and has quite a few weird time jumps–am I supposed to believe NOTHING happened in three months? Multiple times?–It does have amazing characters, a great plot, and my recommendation.” – Reut @ Reut Reads

About megtao

Student. Writer. Nerdfighter. Fights for love, justice, and awesome.
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11 Responses to [review] The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

  1. This one has been on my TBR for, um, forever. I really have no excuse WHY I haven’t picked it up yet either; I think I’m just lame. Must get to it this summer!!

  2. I have been meaning to read this for the longest time, because it sounds SO GOOD. Hopefully, this year!

  3. OH MY GOD, indeed. 😉

    I freakin love the hell out of The Girl Of Fire And Thorns and it legitimately thrills me that you loved it and that you got past your stumbling block.


    • megtao says:

      I still don’t understand why she felt unattractive for her weight when big women should have been attractive in that type of time period…BUT I do like that it dealt with the topic of body image in a fairly healthy way and I liked Elisa’s personal journey.

  4. reutreads says:

    Uch this was so good. I loved those UNEXPECTED thingys.. you know. IT WAS AWESOME.

  5. I feel like a bad fantasy fan today since I’ve admitted to not reading Tamora Pierce and now this book in one day. But I do have a copy of this one so hopefully I’ll be squeezing it in soon!

  6. Pingback: [review] Crown of Embers and The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson | coffeeandwizards

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