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The Crown of Embers (Girl of Fire and Thorns) Paperback – August 27, 2013
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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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“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 Finalist Andre 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))
Top customer reviews
For the most part, The Crown of Embers moved at a slower pace and pull for me. The urgency to return not as strong, except during maybe two sections towards the later half or near the end.
Still interesting, but Elisa's character and/or choices were disappointing more often than not.
She seemed to have lost her strength and confidence. She faltered in her ruling as Queen and in her decisions; she was weak and at times swayed. While I felt a build up for her feelings in Book 1 towards Humberto; being built upon friendship, trust and later attraction; in regards to Hector it seems more of a fleshy struggle. I do not doubt her trust in him; he more than proves his trustworthiness and strength of character. But I could never get why if she loved him, she would not chose him to marry. Why was he not a viable choice until the end, when it promotes her purposes.
Also, there comes a point in the book where she wants and even prepares to take things to an intimate level with him, while still planning on them both marrying another. Again, this fleshly desire does not equal agape love, it is an eros love. While earlier on being willing to heal him at possibly a great cost to herself is a show of real love, all that followed after was not. Hector, however seems to grasp and live out love in a truer form.
I feel like, and hope, that Book 2 is more of a bridge Book; leading to a stronger Book and finish in 3. We will see!
THE CROWN OF EMBERS was an EXPLOSIVE READ that I absolutely LOVED!! It took me on the ride of my life, and filled me with such awesomeness that kept me up reading late into night, craving just one-more-chapter I couldn't get enough of!!! I loved the world building, the characters, the villains, the magical aspects, frankly, I loved just about every single thing in this novel, no, in this series!!
THE CROWN OF EMBERS was a gem waiting to be explored for me. It had layers upon layers of depth and character development, and more plot then I could grasp! Rae Carson is truly a book-god in my world! She has the gift of enchantment, for she surly put a hex on me with this magical story, because I absolutely, positively, undoubtedly, LOVE THE CROWN OF EMBERS SERIES so freaking much!!!
Elisa is the hero of her country.
She saved her people from the Invierne and brought her country back from the brink of war. She defeated the Animagi that brought fire and death upon her kingdom. She channeled the Godstone's power and learned to wield it against her foes. She was Joya d'Arena's last hope, and she didn't fail them, and for that, she is their queen...
Seventeen-year-old queen Elisa is anything but political familiar. She never wanted to be queen, let alone rule a whole country twice the size of her hometown county all by herself. But she is, and she must rise up from the ashes to piece her country back together bit by bit. But the enemy has sworn vengeance's, sworn that they will come like ghost in a dream. And they will get their revenge, one way or another, they're coming, the clock is ticking...
With a newly inexperienced queen, a country trying to piece it's self back together, an enemy still striking from the shadows, a rebellion brewing, and civil war threatening to tear their country apart, theirs more then enough chaos and insanity to distract the country from it's enemies and traders threatening to rise up and seek it's vengeance's.
But then the queen starts to fear her enemies are closer then she once thought, and plotting to destroy her and the country she's been fighting for. Her allies are in short supply, and the power she wields is no where near enough to defeat the Animagi that are hell bent on conquering her power and defeating their county. And Elisa is no closer in figuring out her next move. But time is running out, and her enemies are lying in wake, waiting for the perfect time to strike...
But their is someone who also seems to spark hope within, and keeps her sanity from turning no matter the situation. It's the Commander of her royal guard, and keeper of her heart, Hector. He unknowingly sparks something deep within, that thrives anytime he's near. She has loved and lost once, but their is something about the Commander of her guard that makes her feel she can love again, only if he loved her too, something she's not sure she wants to find out, yet....
So Elisa and a few of her most trusted allies cook up a ruse and travel to an ancient island that's suppose to be the heart of the Godstone's power. But she can't have her enemies on all sides knowing where she's going and why. So they must travel through harsh lands and waters to evade her enemies, locate the mythological island, learn how to absorb and harness it's power, get back to her castle and uncover the trader in they're political circle, defeat the Animagi threatening to wreck havoc, and some how keep the man she's falling in love with from leaving her, all while staying alive long enough to achieve it all. Yup, piece a cake, right? I think not!!!
Overall, if your looking for a fast-paced read, with secrets and betrayals, war and death, friendship and love, and a queen destined to overcome all, and set her country free of it's foes, built around a magical background that pulses the story to it's fullest, then THE CROWN OF EMBERS is exactly the book you've been looking for!! I HIGHLY recommend it, and am eagerly anticipating the third and final book in this epically wonderful trilogy, that has sent chills down my spine time and time again!! And will forever go down as one of my favorite series of all time!!! THE CROWN OF EMBERS is a must read for any fantasy/adventure fan out there, it will not disappoint!!!!
Honestly, the dutiful hero must be my button, because I fall for them every time. Jaime Fraser, Alexander Barrington, and now Hector. Deeply passionate, so heroic they make your heart break, and faithful. These men love with every molecule of their fictional beings. Hector's speach to Elena on the beach towards the end of the book just about killed me. Swoon, fans herself, and sighs.
And it's not all just about the guy. Elisa is an amazing character. I feel as if I know her and connect with her on a level I haven't connected with any other female character, ever. The richness of all the characters, the depths of the story feels carefully crafted, and the storybuilding that is cinematic in scope make the Fire and Thorns one of the best fantasy series out there.