Warning: Spoiler alert. If you haven't read The Girl of Fire and Thorns, read it immediately!
I absolutely adore the world Rae Carson created in her Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy (watch Rae Carson give an introduction to the trilogy here). If possible, I think I enjoyed The Crown of Embers (watch Rae Carson discuss the book here) even more than The Girl of Fire and Thorns. Elisa continues to become a strong and confident character despite all of the obstacles she faces.
As The Crown of Embers begins, we see Elisa continuing to attempt her attempts at bringing Joya d'Arena back to its glory. She learns that this may be more of a challenge than she originally expected. Rumor has it that her late husband's ruling style was weak at best. Also, it seems as though some members of the council are conspiring against her. As if that weren't enough, spies may have also infiltrated her circle as well. Being a young, foreign queen is tough stuff.
Also, Elisa learns that her service as the godstone bearer has probably not been fulfilled. She learns of a quest that she knows she must complete. She is convinced that accomplishing this task will prove she is a worthy leader, complete her service as the bearer, and unite her country.
It was an amazing adventure. To add to all of the excitement of the quest there is also Hector. Ahhh, Hector. His relationship with Elisa becomes even more complicated. I mean, how long could Hector go on being absolutely perfect before Elisa took notice?
This one ends as quite a cliffhanger. I really look forward to the final installment of the trilogy. Elisa is a character that I hope gets everything she wants in the end. I guess we'll see.
I am hoping for another novella that will give us insight into other characters like Shadow Cats did. Since the third book, The Bitter Kingdom, isn't available until fall of next year, I will need more of this magical world before then! I absolutely encourage you to read The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Shadow Cats, and The Crown of Embers.