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The Crown of Embers (Girl of Fire and Thorns) Hardcover – September 18, 2012

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Product Details

  • Series: Girl of Fire and Thorns (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books; 1 edition (September 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062026518
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062026514
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (270 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-In this sequel to The Girl of Fire and Thorns (HarperCollins, 2011), several months have passed since Elisa, through the power of her Godstone, destroyed the invading animagi sorcerers. Although the forces of Invierne were successfully driven back, the outer perimeter of the city still burns. Elisa is now queen of Joya d'Arena, and the crown is proving to be a heavy burden in more ways than one. The Inviernos still seek to capture her to manipulate the power of the Godstone she bears. There is massive civil unrest, and there are those at court who seek to undermine her rule. Although her husband has only been dead a few months, she is being pressured to remarry to secure an alliance with one of the noble houses in the kingdom. After several attempts are made on her life, she sets off on a perilous quest that is part of the fulfillment of her destiny as the bearer. As in the first book, Elisa's narration conveys a sense of immediacy. Carson has created vivid, palpable settings and complex multifaceted characters, and delivers a fast-paced novel that is emotionally charged, suspenseful, and filled with plot twists. The cliff-hanger ending will leave readers eagerly anticipating the next installment of this series, which will especially appeal to fans of Kristin Cashore and Tamora Pierce.-Francesca Burgess, Brooklyn Public Library, NYα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


"A superb fantasy built around an exceptional heroine." -Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Carson has created vivid, palpable settings and complex multifaceted characters, and delivers a fast-paced novel that is emotionally charged, suspenseful, and filled with plot twists." -School Library Journal

"This sequel is even better than its predecessor." -The Horn Book

“There are books you like, and books you love, and then there are the ones that make you go past ‘love’ and straight into, ‘I think I may need to marry this book.’ The Crown of Embers was that type of book for me. I adored it.” (Rachel Hawkins, author of the New York Times bestselling Hex Hall series)

“Rae Carson has proved she’s a master and has shaken up the YA genre. . . . Nothing is held back.” (USA Today)

Praise for The Girl of Fire and Thorns:William C. Morris Award FinalistAndre Norton Award Finalist“Romantic, lush, and thought provoking.” (Booklist)

Praise for The Girl of Fire and Thorns:“Fans of Tamora Pierce’s “Beka Cooper” series will find a kindred spirit in Elisa as she experiences great adversity and heart-wrenching loss.” (School Library Journal (starred review))

Praise for The Girl of Fire and Thorns:“Carson’s mature writing style, thoughtful storytelling, appealing characters, and surprising twists add up to a page-turner with broad appeal.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

More About the Author

Rae Carson is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the award-winning Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy. She lives in Ohio with her husband, novelist C.C. Finlay, two stepsons, and two very naughty kitties. She is hard at work on her next trilogy.

Customer Reviews

So well written with characters I love.
Amazon Customer
It had lots of action and in my opinion was even more fast paced than the first.
Gina Kelly
I started reading the first book and was hooked!

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By K. Sowa on September 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I really fell in love with Girl of Fire and Thorns, and I was anxious to see what was in store for Elisa and her kingdom in Crown of Embers. I was once again pulled into the unique world that Rae Carson created and found dastardly plans, political intrigue and some very emotional moments. Just because Elisa has returned and assumed the throne after her husband's death does not mean there will be a peaceful time for anyone. I was so devastated by what happened to Humberto in book one that I wasn't sure if I could move on from that story line, but trust me when I say that this book found new ways to suck me in. The romance was bittersweet and wonderful, the action was non-stop and the plot twists seemed to keep coming. I can't put into words what makes me love a fantasy novel, but The Crown of Embers seems to take all of the elements that are universal to great works (romance, adventure, betrayal, intrigue) and constructs them into a book that demonstrates Rae Carson's superb storytelling abilities.

If I admired Elisa in book one, I grew to love her in this installment. Elisa is strong, but she doesn't always seem to know it and her strength isn't necessarily physical. There is no sequence in which she all of a sudden becomes a superhero. Instead, her strength is in her determination to persevere for her kingdom and for the people around her. Her strength is also in her intelligence, which is one of my favorite things about Elisa. She is afraid, but she acts anyway. In my mind, this is the type of heroine that is much more interesting to read about because being frightened and doing it anyway is the very definition of bravery. I cannot stop recommending this series to everyone because it is so engrossing and different.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Cherilyn Redwine on September 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I devoured this book in a single day because I couldn't make myself slow down. I had high hopes going into it because I really loved The Girl of Fire and Thorns, and I'm happy to say that Crown of Embers surpassed my expectations. This is a fully realized fantasy rife with intrigue, emotion, courage, suspense, and betrayal.

Everyone should read this series.

I love that every character is three-dimensional and nuanced. I love that I can see the story happening against a beautifully described backdrop. And I really love that the character arc for Elisa is once again full of subtle shifts, flaws, and moments of brilliance. Reading this book is like revisiting an old friend and finding her full of fascinating new stories.

The plot is layered and complex enough to keep the reader completely engaged. The relationships are complicated and compelling. And the struggle between faith and discovering your own strength is portrayed with balance.

I could just rave on and on about this book. It's incredible. It deserves a spot on my favorites shelf and will be a book that I will re-read many times. If you haven't tried this series, please do. It's a gem.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Lisa from Read.Breathe.Relax. on October 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's a dangerous thing to call books perfect, but as far as sequels go, The Crown of Embers hit the mark. First of all, it doesn't even come off as a sequel.

There's references to The Girl of Fire and Thorns, but not as much as I expected. Carson keeps it very "present" - which means that Elisa is in as much trouble as ever.

She's taken the reigns over her former husband's kingdom and prepares to rule. The only problem is, the Inviernes, a people with dark magic, are trying to take down her kingdom. Oh and someone tries to kill Elisa. And, also she realizes she has to marry for political gain.

Yeah...not TOO much going on for the new queen.

Like I said, Carson manages to make The Crown of Embers feel like a first book. There's new characters again and new cross-country adventures, yet she builds on tough situations and struggles that Elisa and her people were facing before. I don't know how Carson does it, but I'm so glad she did!

One of the other wonders that Carson delivers in The Crown of Embers is religion. Elisa's godstone - the powerful sign she is chosen to bring about God's will that is located in her belly button. Through this connection, Elisa can pray and feel God's presence and will and feel if she's in danger.

Although it doesn't really come off this way, The Crown of Embers is very spiritual. Elisa often prays and reads the holy scriptures. She trusts and takes leaps of faith based on what she feels God is telling her.

This type of faith portrayed in this type of way is not only a rarity in young adult fiction, but in young adult fantasy. I have to be honest - I really loved it! I have a strong personal faith and I thought this aspect of the book was so refreshing and new to see.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A. Whitehead on November 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Elisa, Queen Regnant of Joya d'Arena, has defeated the invading armies of Invierne. However, she finds ruling her new nation difficult. An outsider from another land, her commands are not respected and she faces challenges from both the nobility and the masses, whose taxes must pay for the rebuilding of the country. Elisa must also face down a renewed threat from Invierne. Defeated on the battlefield, they now play a game of misinformation and intrigue, with assassins stalking the rooftops of Elisa's capital. In the midst of this Elisa discovers a vital clue to the origins of the magic of her Godstone, but dare she leave the capital in the hands of her rivals to pursue this quest?

The Crown of Embers is the sequel to Fire and Thorns and is the middle volume of a trilogy. Like its predecessor, the book is an easy, light read but is unfortunately rather less successful. Whilst the first book featured a solid, eventful plot which unfolded with focused conciseness (a relief from the too-many flabby epic fantasies around), this second book is comparatively uneventful and repetitive. There are several assassination attempts, which are foiled. Elisa angsts over how to rule her kingdom more effectively, to no conclusion. She angsts who whom she should marry for the good of the kingdom, to no conclusion. She moons over a potential love interest, even in the middle of a dire assassination attempt. Rinse and repeat.

These problems are confounded by regressive characterisation of the lead: Elisa evolved, in a standard but nevertheless reasonably-well-handled way, from coddled princess to warrior leader in the first book. In this second volume she seems to lose all of the confidence and skills gained in the first book and becomes a lame duck ruler, unable to assert her authority.
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