tcoeThe Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns #2) by Rae Carson
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

In the sequel to the acclaimed The Girl of Fire and Thorns, a seventeen-year-old princess turned war queen faces sorcery, adventure, untold power, and romance as she fulfills her epic destiny.

Elisa is the hero of her country. She led her people to victory against a terrifying enemy, and now she is their queen. But she is only seventeen years old. Her rivals may have simply retreated, choosing stealth over battle. And no one within her court trusts her-except Hector, the commander of the royal guard, and her companions. As the country begins to crumble beneath her and her enemies emerge from the shadows, Elisa will take another journey. With a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with, Elisa crosses the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone’s power. That is not all she finds. A breathtaking, romantic, and dangerous second volume in the Fire and Thorns trilogy.

Review:

I understand you’re confused. Ashley, the contemporary lover is back with another high fantasy book. WHAT IS GOING ON?! Tina and I were recently discussing that it is interesting: she’s more into contemp and I want to read all the fantasy on my TBR list.

While this book was as good, or even better than the first book The Girl of Fire and Thorns. I did however have problems getting into it, because as we discussed before, if I’m not reading fantasy on plane my mind wanders. Once I got into it, I was sucked in. Hector and Elisa made me feel like I was back home. Into their world where things are dangerous, questionable and of course exciting.

And then I could not put the book down, that was honestly in part to the slow burn that is Hector and Elisa and the fact it is so slow it’s close to perfect. (I cannot believe I just said that. I am so not a slow burn person.) But the slow burn works because while Elisa understands she is supposed to get re-married and produce another heir, Carson has Elisa more worried about being strong and worrying about survival. Which of course is an awesome genius thing to see in a YA book. Elisa also spends a good portion of the book fighting for what her faith means to her and coming to understand when one grows up their view changes and sometimes that hurts.

However, this book did make me swoon harder than most books do. Which is weird for me, because I read a steady stream of romance novels for a solid decade there. But things like this get said and my heart was all SWOOOOON.

I am wholly and irreversibly in love with the commander of my Royal Guard. —The Crown of Embers p 191

That simple line got me because Elisa did not see it coming. It slapped her in the face with shock. The romance is such a slow burn. So. So. Slow. But anything else wouldn’t have worked. Really. Mostly because the relationship sneaks up and scares Elisa. She doesn’t know how to handle these feelings or what to do with them and it’s adorable to see her flounder in an area of her life. But like I said above: romance isn’t the point of the novel. Someone is after Elisa’s life and everyone is worried about her and her safety and a good portion of the novel is dedicated to escaping the assassin only to end up where the assassin wanted them all along.

I cannot wait to see the conclusion of this trilogy in The Bitter Kingdom.