Friday, 14 December 2012

Crown of Embers By Rae Carson

Crown of Embers
Series: Fire and Thorns #2
Release Date: 20th September 2012
Publisher: Gollancz
Format: Paperback
Pages: 320
Synopsis: Princess Elisa is back! And in a tale that's bigger and badder than ever for fans of Kristin Cashore.

In charge of a country. With a destiny to fulfil and a love that's beginning to bloom . . . Elisa's life is about to become more complicated than ever before. CROWN OF EMBERS combines adventure, a great heroine and brilliant storytelling.
Review: After reading Fire and Thorns at the very beginning of the year I was desperate to read the sequel! Crown of Embers doesn't disappoint! It is a fabulous second book in what's going to be a phenomenal trilogy. The adventure continues at a very fast pace. The book is set a little while after the end events of the first book and the Kingdom is still trying to recover. We see Elisa grow even more in this book, she was a strong character anyway but now we watch as she learns how she can be a better queen by believing in herself.
At the very start of the book we are sent into the middle of action. Elisa is going to parade around her kingdom but very soon this is stopped when one of the enemy animagi burns himself alive to get her attention, while he threatens her. Her enemies want her to come willingly to them, but she knows she cannot do that. The whole kingdom rests on her shoulders, she is their only hope. After these events there is a resistance in the kingdom, then a murder attempt leaves Elisa fighting for her life and her kingdom. With the help of her friends and her loyal guards she goes to find the place where power ripples through the earth, the place where it's closest to the surface to the world. If she captures this magic surely she can set her kingdom right and spread peace through the world? The adventure is only beginning, relationships are stretched, beliefs are challenged and peace is long gone. Elisa is the only one who can set things right but she needs to learn to accept herself first.
I love Elisa's character she has just grown up so much during the course of this book. In Crown of Embers she learns more about her responsibilities as a Godstone bearer and as Queen. There's a lot on her plate for a teenage girl but she does remarkable well even if she does make some mistakes. She keeps a calm head even when things are going seriously wrong. Of course we see her softer side, as a queen she has to punish some people and she hates it, you really see her humanity and feelings shine though at these times. Elisa gains more confidence in herself and in the role of Queen. Her relationships are really put to the test in this book and we see more sides of some of these come to light.
Of course amongst the politics and religion in the story there is romance. Both for Elisa and her people. Elisa begins to fall for one of her most trusted friends. You can see their chemistry when you read the novel, just the way they know each other so well and that one slight smile or twitch where they share a little joke just makes my heart want to burst with sweetness. As Queen though love is never simple especially when her council want her to re-marry soon. She is torn between doing what's right for her country and what's right for herself.
I really enjoyed Crown of Embers, it's a brilliant follow up to  Fire and Thorns and just makes me even more impatient for the next and final book, The Bitter Kingdom. The novel is a complex fantasy that really brings the reader deep into the story. The whole world in Fire and Thorns is well detailed and fleshed out. The best thing though has to be the characters, each one has different traits and all feel very real. I just loved how Rae Carson made the reader feel so strongly and passionate about her characters, both good and bad. For a YA Fantasy novel this book is rather complex but it's just so good. It's a favourite of mine and if you're looking for a YA Fantasy this would be the first series I showed to you. It is that excellent! Crown of Embers is one of the best novels I've read this year. It will keep you intrigued until the last page and then you will be screaming in frustration because that's where it ends for now. Oh and what a killer ending it is.


  1. I'm on page 112 and loving it!

  2. Gah, why have I not read this yet?! I must fix that immediately! I loved the first book, and I think this is going to be an excellent series. The fantasy is so complex and beautiful and Elisa is such an amazing main character. I'll have to read this next!
    Great review!

  3. I haven't read this but based on your review this series sounds like a better version of The Assassin's Curse. Maybe I should read this instead.


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