The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

I was a little worried when I started this book because I had high hopes for it and I was worried it wouldn’t live up to them. The religious aspect of this book had me a little worried, too. All of my concerns were unfounded, though, and I loved this book.

Some people might be a little bothered by Elisa’s personality and I can see why. However, she was born a princess. She never really had to do things for herself; people were always there to do them for her. She didn’t know how to be brave because she never had a reason to be brave. As the novel goes along, she gains confidence in herself and finds the courage to do what must be done, even in the face of danger. She starts thinking and planning and behaving less like a princess and more like a warrior. I’m incredibly excited to see how Carson continues this in the next book.

In regards to the religious aspect of the book, I felt it was handled amazingly. Elisa was chosen by God to do some service for the world. She doesn’t know anything about what she might have to do, or why she was chosen. She considers it more a burden than a gift, simply because it puts so much pressure on her and she doesn’t have a clue what to do about it. Even as she learns more about what being chosen means, she still feels this pressure. People expect her to do something, but no one knows what or when or how, and yet she’s expected to do this miraculous thing.

Each country thinks they are doing the right thing, the thing God wants, and yet none realize that it says in their books that they do not know God’s real will. They are all doing things in the name of God, interpreting the written word in a way that benefits them. This was done in a way that was subtle and not preachy, and it really gets a lesson across. This may have been my favorite thing about how Carson wrote this novel.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns was a fantastic novel that drew me in right away. It’s fast paced, and has enough romance and action to keep everyone intrigued. It’s definitely worth a read and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next part of this series.

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