Review: The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

February 24, 2014 2014, B-, book rating, Reading Challenges, reviews, TBR Pile 3

I’m participating in the TBR Pile Challenge hosted at the Bookish blog. I’m also participating in the Book Bingo Challenge.

crown-of-embersThe Crown of Embers
by Rae Carson
Series: Fire and Thorns, Book 2
Genre: Fantasy
Published by Greenwillow Books, 2012
E-book, Purchased
410 pages
Grade: B-
Synopsis: 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.

Later, when we’ve found this mysterious ship of Hector’s and are safely away, when I have time to rest and worry and a quiet corner to hide in, I will coldly remember that being a queen means being strategic. And I will imagine sending off the man I love to marry my sister. I’ll rehearse it in my head, maybe. Get used to the feeling.

What worked for me:

  • I felt the parts where she questions her faith are the best parts of the book. That was one of the things I like best about the first book.
  • Elisa makes hard decisions in this book, but she second guesses herself a lot. That is one of the main themes of this book–that she hasn’t grown into her queenship so she lets others undermine her.
  • She has to finally grow up so she can be a successful queen. I guess the next book shows if that happens.

What didn’t work:

  • The book is  slow…I don’t feel like a lot happened…even though multiple attempts are made on Elisa’s life!
  • This felt like the middle book–a placeholder for the first and last perhaps.
  • I don’t connect with many of the characters in this book.
  • I can’t figure out why it won’t work out with the man she loves. Why is he so unsuitable?

My thoughts:

This second book is still written in first person, present tense. I don’t mind it in the first book, but didn’t like it as much in this book. So Elisa has to grow up in this book. I thought she had done that in the first book, but she has more to do in this book. Growing up and romance were major themes in this book and I didn’t like them so much.

Have you read the first two books in the series? What did you like or dislike?

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