The Girl of Fire and Thorns

The Girl of Fire and Thorns
By Rae Carson
Published by Greenwillow Books
Published on September 20, 2011

Summary taken from Goodreads:

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.

Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he’s not the only one who needs her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

I have been mulling over this review.  I am still a little unsure of what to write.  I loved this book so much, but any books where the protagonist is overweight automatically puts me on edge.  Being a plus sized lady, I did NOT want to read another "This girl got skinny and beautiful and THEN everything good happened to her."  I even went to my good friend Google and read through the author's interviews about her perception of the book.  I doubt I have had to work this hard for a review in awhile.
I really did enjoy this book.  It had a good fantasy story (although I did giggle to myself once or twice that Elisa reminded me of a Treasure Troll with the jewel in her belly).  I liked that she was an unlikely hero.  Elisa is not a likable character- she is lazy and deals with her emotions by eating.  She is very selfish and doesn't think far beyond herself.  I really loved the evolution of Elisa's character during the course of the book.  Does she lose weight?  Yes.  Did that bug me?  Yes.  But I had to get off of my own problems with weight discrimination and see that the changes that happened to Elisa had nothing to do with her weight- or loss of weight.  She grew up and took responsibility for herself and others.  She stopped running and hiding and stopped trying to be coddled by others.  

Elisa's weight was not the point of the book.  Elisa is a selfish spoiled girl who turns into someone who is prepared to run an entire kingdom.  She grows up.

I am glad this story is the first of a trilogy.  I really want to see what is going to happen to Elisa.  Although the story was tied up to some degree at the end- there are still many unanswered questions for the reader- namely in Elisa's love life.

I would absolutely recommend reading this book- but even more, I hope that you will take the time to think through the character and what happens to her.

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