Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns #2) by Rae Carson

The Crown of Ember (Fire and Thorns #2)
by Rae Carson
Pages: 410
Source: Bought/B&N
Format: Hardback

Rating: Loved it!!!

Goodreads Synopsis: 

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.

My Review: 


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

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thinking Through Thursday (10)

Welcome to another "Thinking Through Thursday"! This is a post I write (or try to) every Thursday in which I discuss various bookish goodness. 

This week's discussion is:

Religion in Books:

There have always been books with religion and there always will be. However, sometimes, it's well done while other times....not so much. 

If the book is labeled "religious fiction" then it's a different story. You know what you're getting yourself into and often get the book based on what you believe (Ex. Christian fiction, Hindu fiction, ect.). However, there are many YA books out there that may not be "religious fiction" but deal with it in some form or another. Books such as Glow actually have religion as a important plot point. The thing is though, I really don't enjoy the "religious" plot line unless I'm specifically reading religious fiction. More often than not because most author's show them as religious nuts. It's very "in your face" and quite frankly crazy. 

I personally think Glow could've been an interesting book if it didn't deal with all that religious stuff. For one, it demonized it. Two, although it did show both sides, it really only showed both extremes, nothing in the middle. Three, I just don't feel like it was necessary. I feel like there could've been a different route (and better one) that it could've taken. 

Here's two reasons off the top of my head why it's a hit or miss with religion in books:

1. If it's not labeled as religious fiction, don't throw it in your face. Make it subtle and make sure it's necessary. Make sure it moves the plot forward. Again, if I know the genre is religious fiction, then I know what to expect. But if its not, I think religion can still play a vital role, especially if it actually moves the plot forward (ex. The Girl of Fire and Thorns). 

2. Don't demonize religion. Please, I don't care if its made up or not. I don't care if you have faith or not. If there is one way to turn off readers, it's this. It's grouping every religion or all people of a specific religion into a cult. Just don't. Don't try and shove your opinions down our throats. 

For me, these are the two major turn offs. If authors would listen to these two suggestions, it would be so much better! 

I really wish I had more time to go in depth with this. I don't feel like I covered nearly as much as I could. I'll admit, this was a quick post! Sorry! But if y'all want to discuss something, perhaps something I left out, let me know in the comments below!

All the best