Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Girl of Fire and Thorns

Now this is good YA fantasy. Rae Carson's The Girl of Fire and Thorns is an exciting and rewarding read. Start with a heroine, a shy, overweight princess who's also a chosen one and who is being married to a king she's never met. Throw in a surprising knowledge of tactics and the suggestion of hidden depths. Then add palace intrigue, prophecies, and magic, all in a setting based more on Spain than England, unlike a lot of fantasy novels. Basically, there's a lot going on here, and it's all well done. Elisa is a heroine you quickly come to root for. She grows, she learns about herself, and her weight doesn't end up defining her, while there's no magical beautification either. I started reading this with a bit of skepticism that it might be just another YA fantasy novel, but I quickly came to the point where I couldn't put it down. For everyone who wants a book that's not afraid to be different, check this out. Oh, and, yes, there is romance, but that's just another aspect that Carson handles deftly and realistically.

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