Monday, September 12, 2011

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson - OPTIONAL

Carson, Rae The Girl of Fire and Thorns, 432 p. Greenwillow (HarperCollins), 2011.  

Violence: PG (war and death, nothing graphic).  

Always the fat, ugly sister, Lucero-Elisa, 16, finds herself married off to a stranger in order to build relations between their kingdoms.  First she is attacked and loses one of her handmaidens as they travel to his kingdom.  Then Alejandro asks her to keep their marriage secret from his subjects.  But Elisa is the current bearer of a Godstone, which means she is part of an ancient heritage and has a grand role to play.  Is Elisa’s destiny to be fulfilled, or will her stone’s power fade without her ever doing something great.  Enemies, sabotage, war and subterfuge abound as she seeks her destiny – or just to stay alive.  

Without flashy magic, buckets of blood or obvious gaudy plot ploys, Fire and Thorns is for a reader who prefers a more subtle book.  The publicity compares it to Tamora Pierce, but I am not quite sure the author is there.  Certainly I would recommend it for serious fantasy readers – after they have read all of Pierce’s books and are looking for something else.  My only big complaint is the devise the author uses to “help” our heroine to lose weight – force marching her for days on end through the mountains and desert (“If you fall behind we will leave you for dead”) and that magically cures her eating issues.  

MS, HS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

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