by Rae Carson
Rating: Loved it!!!
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.
I'm at a loss of words. This book was amazing. I really enjoyed the first one, but now I've fallen completely and irreversibly in love. Mrs. Carson, you sure know what you're doing.
Perhaps one of the things I love most about this series is how raw the characters are, especially Elisa. There is no holding back. There are weaknesses and flaws, but also incredible characteristics for each character. I love Elisa's lack of perfection because this makes her so much more realistic and relatable. Elisa is such a passionate, loyal, caring, intelligent, and courageous young woman, but she is also vulnerable and has to try to find balance between being a strong, ruthless ruler and a caring, compassionate one. She was thrown into this life as queen and now has to adjust. Sure she makes mistakes along the way, but she's still young and trying to find her way in a sea of uncertainty. I loved every moment of it.
And the romance! *sigh* I'll admit, I was shocked at Humberto's death in the previous book, but even though he was her love, I always had my eye on someone else. Wish granted! And boy is it delicious! Oh, Hector, you make my heart fluter! Stoic, incredibly loyal, stubborn, buff, courageous! I could go on and on! I loved how it was a slow-burn romance and how they really get to learn about each other. I absolutely loved getting to delve deeper into the mystery that is the Lord-Commander. But don't worry, there are definitely some steamy scenes in there (why does the third book have to be so far away?!?!).
The story arc is definitely worthy of interest. I couldn't turn away! The political intrigue, the questing, the new information?! So much fantasticness in so few pages! Well, 410 pages aren't too few, but I definitely wanted more (especially after an ending like that!!). Carson isn't afraid of risks and I love her for that! Nothing is perfect, but realistic.
And on a side note: I really enjoyed the new characters. The Captain seems like a great, humorous, jolly guy! And I personally look forward to learning more about Storm. I'm intrigued by his mysteriousness and believe he's got potential!
Quite simply, I loved it. While I really enjoyed the first one, I fell head over heels for this one. It's so much more powerful and intriguing. Elisa is just an incredible young woman and the romance between her and Hector is to die for! I am eagerly awaiting the 3rd book. Here's to hoping for an ARC!
All the best ♥