Title: The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
Published: September 18th, 2012 by Greenwillow Books
Challenge(s): Finish the Series, Books in a Series
Grade rate: A+
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.
Wow! I love The Girl of Fire and Thorns (see my review here), and as soon as I finished it, I had to purchase The Crown of Embers and I have to say that it was even better, which I would think it was almost impossible.
The book starts about five months after the end of Girl of Fire, on Elisa’s birthday (as did the first book). She has now the heavy weight of huge kingdom to reign over and is being sabotaged. Elisa still doubts her ability as a queen and as a woman, she is trying to find a balance between what is right and wrong, and figure out who she can trust to help her rebuilt. I am so glad that she found her inner strength and found her power and sense of self-worth from within, without the crutch that the zafira.
Elisa comes to rely in her nurse/guardian Ximena, her lady-in-waiting Mara and in her Captain of the Guard Hector. Hector is amazing. He believes in Elisa as few do, is full of good advice for her and loves her so much, that it hurts to see. I’m still upset about the ending and I hope all ends well (*pretty please*)
The character development is astounding. These characters are so special, and fully fleshed out. We see some old friend from the previous books and it seems like the next one will bring even more. There are also a few new characters; more notable are Tristán and Storm (which despite all I still liked). I don’t want to give anything away, but well done Elisa! It was time to take her rightful place and be the queen she was groomed to be!
The plot is excellent, it’s full of twists and turns and action packed. The setting is so vivid and well crafted. The idea of the Godstone is so original and although the story is full of religious references, it is not preachy at all. The writing is nothing short of amazing. You can tell by my raving on and on that I simply adore this series. I cannot wait for the sequel, The Bitter Kingdom, to be published in September.
Here are some quotes:
“For love is more beautiful than rubies, sweeter than honey, finer than the king’s wine. And not one has greater love than he who gives his own life for a friend. My love is like perfume poured out…” – Elisa’s prayer
“If you were like this, with this kind of confidence, this clarity of thought, no one would dare challenge your rule” – Hector to Elisa
“His eyes are steady and frank when he says, “I don’t regret telling you what I did”
“That’s good, because you did say it, and I can’t unknow it”
“And I can’t unfeel it, he says” - Hector to Elisa
“But I’m not powerless” I continue. “I’ve always had my Godstone and its minor magic… And I have me. I will be enough” – Elisa
About the cover: The only thing I don’t like is the cover, it just doesn’t do anything for me.
Have you read this series? Do you love it?