I like lots of books. It's really almost difficult for me to find one I don't like. However, I usually shy away from high fantasy. But, I've got to say Rae Carson's The Girl of Fire and Thorns (watch the trailer here) is certainly an exception for me. It is absolutely a piece of fantasy that grabbed me. I've recently come to love the show Game of Thrones (yes, I know it's a book), and The Girl of Fire and Thorns just might be Game of Thrones for the teen girl. Well played, Carson!
Elisa is the chosen one in more ways than one. She is chosen to marry the debonair King Alejandro, whose country is plagued by more trouble than anyone is aware. Elisa is also the chosen bearer of the Godstone. With the exception of being chosen to be the bearer, Elisa has always been the shadow of her older sister. But that is about to change. Now, at sixteen she is forced to secretly marry Alejandro, travel to his country, and raise his young son. Devout Elisa has lived her life not knowing about the true implications of being the bearer. However, in the early days of her stay in her new country she is kidnapped. This event leads her deep into war torn lands and to knowledge about herself.
There are lots of things I loved about this book. For example, I loved its dessert setting. I loved picturing the jewel toned silks of the dresses and the crimson sands. Characters of Middle Eastern heritage also appealed to me. I am guilty of "white washing" all characters in my mind. I liked being reminded of Elisa's brown skin. Also, I liked that Elisa described herself as fat. Yep, she does, and I like it.
The second and third installments in the The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, The Crown of Embers and The Bitter Kingdom will be released in the fall of 2012 and 2013, respectively. Please visit Carson's website to learn more about this trilogy. There's some cool information there.