Elisa’s life has always felt somewhat beyond her control and her fate is not one of her own choosing. She bears the Godstone and is destined for greatness… at least that’s how the legends read. Just one person is chosen every hundred years to bear the stone and Elisa has always felt that it was an honor bestowed upon her by mistake.

When her father promises her hand to the king in nearby Brisadulce, she understands that it is a political maneuver. She can’t help but feel the match is one her sister would be more suited to, but Elisa is a dutiful daughter. While traveling to her new home, the entourage is attacked and Elisa realizes that the Godstone has made her a target. She learns that her new marriage is meant to protect her but unfortunately, even in Brisadulce, Elisa has enemies. Those set to seek out the bearer of the Godstone will not give up their search and Elisa’s strength will be put to the test very soon.

Rae Carson’s teen fantasy trilogy kicks off with this impressive first installment.

The world building in The Girl of Fire and Thorns is especially spectacular. Not only has Carson created a history and a mythology around this world—one that’s quite unlike anything I’ve seen—but she’s also carefully constructed the government and politics of the world as well. And it’s this political backbone that is the core of the story as a whole as Elisa fights to gain support and control of her fate and that of her country.

1/14 Becky Lejeune

THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS by Rae Carson. Greenwillow Books (August 21, 2012). ISBN 978-0062026507. 448p.

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