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21 Reviews
5 star:
 (11)
4 star:
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3 star:
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2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This fantastic debut has it all.
[...]
Caroline for [...]

This gorgeous coming of age tale transports you completely to a world of sumptuous palaces, humid jungles, lush oases and stunning, yet unforgiving, deserts. A land of beauty and of danger, this superb world building is not at the expense of the story's pacing. There is never a dull moment and like our protagonist Elisa; we are...
Published on 25 Nov 2011 by Caroline Cousens

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mainstream, curious, average.
The Girl of Fire and Thorns surely hits all the marks on the checklist of "YA high fantasy novels"; however, something about it just lacked that spark that would make this a truly memorable novel that has me coming back for more. It never really wow-ed me, which, I guess, I really expected to happen. (Maybe it is once again due to the many people who swore I'd absolutely...
Published 10 months ago by Debby (Snuggly Oranges)


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3.0 out of 5 stars Solidly enjoyable, but somewhat lightweight., 29 Oct 2012
By 
A. Whitehead "Werthead" (Colchester, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fire and Thorns (Fire & Thorns Trilogy 1) (Hardcover)
The enigmatic nation of Invierne is menacing the borders of both its neighbours, vast Joya d'Arena and its former vassal state of Orovalle. The two kingdoms have allied together against this threat through a marriage pact, with King Alejandor wedding Princess Elisa of Orovalle. This simple alliance is strengthened by the fact that Elisa is the bearer, the wielder of the Godstone. For two thousand years the bearers have performed great acts of bravery and heroism against the forces of evil.

However, Elisa is no hero. Pampered and overweight, she doubts her holy mission. But the boiling deserts of Joya d'Arena will prove her testing ground as she struggle to unlock the secrets of the Godstone, and those of the bearers who came before her.

Fire and Thorns (published as The Girl of Fire and Thorns in the USA) has the whiff of the standard fantasy epic to it. It's the opening volume of a trilogy, it features a callow young protagonist who grows into their destiny as the book unfolds and it's set in a fictional world. That said, it does feature a (relatively) uncommon setting, influenced heavily by Moorish Spain, and there is no map (somewhat irritatingly, as the book does feature some fairly intricate geography which the vague descriptions in the book don't really help establish).

The book is told in the first person by Elisa, who makes for an engaging protagonist. Much has been made by readers about the fact that Elisa is overweight when the book begins and that the author raises the issues of body image and confidence issues and explores them in an interesting manner. This much is true, although there has also been criticism of the fact that as Elisa transforms from callow youth to badass warrior queen she also drops the weight, which seems to be suggesting that overweight people can't be confident and strong rulers in their own right. This is a slightly problematic issue, although I think it's more a reflection of the fact that the story takes our heroine across burning deserts and through thick jungles on months-long journeys where it is implausible she wouldn't get fitter (unlike a certain other author's character called Samwell Tarly, cough). Still, the author does manage to raise and explore the issue without overburdening the book with it.

Fire and Thorns is in YA territory. There is no overt sex or swearing, and the violence is somewhat mild, although several major characters are killed in a rather offhand manner. There is the threat of gushing romance, but it never really materialises (somewhat thankfully) as the war and action storylines take prominence. More disappointingly, there is some very solid set-up done for some promising political intrigue which never really materialises. The resolution of the political plot is in fact rather disappointingly pat and convenient. However, there are some solid twists in the magical storyline, as Elisa uncovers the history of the Godstones and discovers their true purpose.

Caron writes engagingly, making Fire and Thorns (***) a fast, easy and, despite the aforementioned issues, enjoyable read. Those looking for something dark and gritty best look elsewhere, but for a lightweight, easy-to-read fantasy this is more entertaining than most. The novel is available now in the UK and USA.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all time favourite reads!, 29 July 2012
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This is an incredibly well written book. The plot is complex and leaves the reader guessing, it had so much more depth than I first thought it would. I expected Fire and Thorns to be a simple YA novel but I was so wrong, this is easily one of the best books I've read. It is written like an Adult novel, and I just loved how well it was done. I read this book slowly to savour it and take in all the details. There were so many twists in this book and I honestly didn't see any of them coming which made me cling to the book tighter in suspense.

I loved Elisa's character she was so real, she had many flaws which she has to fight with throughout the book to find her true self. It was a great journey and I would willingly do it again. Each character was well fleshed out and I just loved the changes and growth they all went through.

I apologise for the short review but I don't want to spoil anything but the one thing I need to stress is that you need this book! It is brilliant and one of the best books I've ever read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping tale of courage and adventure, 12 Jun 2012
By 
Elle L "of the Dark Woods" (Belly of the Beast (Athens)) - See all my reviews
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What an amazing read Fire and Thorns was. Elisa is the kind of heroine that one immediately feels drawn and attached to. Her character arc is inspiring, especially the weight loss issue that plagued her. One can see that she was comfort eating and when she started gaining confidence (well, in addition to lifestyle change) this brought a change in her body image, habits and attitude.
The world building was amazing. It reminded me of Maria Snyder Poison series, the Magician's Guild and other favorite fantasy series. I cannot wait for the sequel! Please hurry up and write it Rae Carson!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A new and talented author, 29 Oct 2011
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I thought this book was very good for a debut novel , I probably would have gone with 4 stars but given it was her first novel and was so much better than some authors that are on their fourth or fifth novel i thought she deserved five stars for that alone. i loved the story and the characters were well written, good plot and pace. It had the essential element of a book I know I have enjoyed in that it left me wanting more and looking forward to more from the author and this character/series.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Decent Characters and a little different to the norm., 25 Sep 2011
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Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fire and Thorns (Fire & Thorns Trilogy 1) (Hardcover)
If you love a story of magic, of adventure with a good dash or romance then this could well be the book for you. What Rae does in this rerelease is present a title that is about friendships, allegiances and above all else a lead character that's learning that you have to adapt and change as the world goes on around you. It's cleverly written, the cast is outstanding and I absolutely enjoyed a lot of the secondary characters who really brought the foreign lands to life. Finally add to the mix a wonderful sense of prose that really brings the reader into the world and it's a title that was a lot of fun from start to finish. It's going to be interesting to see how it develops from here in future instalments.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 5 Oct 2013
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I really liked this book, and I want to read the rest of the series so badly.... I think that most people would really enjoy this book. I read one review on this book that said it wasn't historically correct... so? It's a different world and therefore the history is different. Basically, it's a new favourite book and should be for everyone.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read!, 13 Jan 2012
This review is from: Fire and Thorns (Fire & Thorns Trilogy 1) (Hardcover)
Elisa is the bearer of the godstone picked by god at her naming.
Yet Elisa feels anything but special she feels fat and useless compared to her perfect older sister.

When Elisa is married on her sixteenth birthday to the king of another kingdom to a man she has never meet before Elisa wonders why he is marrying her because it can't be because he loves her.

Elisa is soon thrown into something that will shock her to the bone, the king's kingdom is on the border line of war and the marriage was a way of making shore Elisa father would alliance himself to the king's kingdom.

Before Elisa can make séance of everything she is kidnapped, she will have to face her unknown enemies and start to work out what role she plays as the bearer.

Will Elis unlock the strength inside her and rise above it before the enemy rips the stone from her.

The story of Elisa is not always a happy one but it's a story of one girl journey to find the faith that she needs as the bearer of the godstone.

As a character Elisa is different for the normal sort you read about normally the main characters are perfected and loveable, Elisa is different yes she is special but she is not drop dead beautiful but that does not matter the author makes it clear that you DONT! Have to be beautiful to do great things. Elisa is smart and does not think she is better than anyone else you love Elis because she tells us girls that no matter what you look like just have the faith and be who you are, be strong.

There were a lot of other amazing characters in the book that you will love but I had a MASSIVE! Crush on lord Hector from the moment he stepped into the book I was in love. While at times he can be hard you felt like he would also look after you and love you no matter what.

The story was so will written it eased you right into this amazing fantasy world with perfection. I found that within just ten pages I was completely in love with the book. There was so much to like everything was explained and beautiful detailed in such a way that you felt like you were in the book to.

The book to me really was watching Elisa grow from a shy uneasy girl to a warrior like character that would give her life for others.

While I have read many Fantasy books from the lighter side to the epic Fantasy I have to say out of them all this is the best Fantasy book I have ever read. It lingers in your mind even after the book ends I'm tingling to read more from this one of a kind author.

I give this book 5 stars go out buy the book and prepare to be stunned and amazed
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but with one major oops, 23 July 2012
By 
J. R. Bedford (Huddersfield UK) - See all my reviews
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I enjoyed this book very much with one big 'but' which I'll get round to presently.

It's a well-paced coming-of-age novel, with a richly described world encompassing mountains and unforgiving deserts, hidden villages and sumptuous palaces. It has a believable religion at the heart of the story and involves kings, princesses and a prophesy.

Princess Elisa bears the godstone - a lump of blue rock buried in her navel, a gift from her god to signify that she has some great service to perform, possibly even an act of heroism. Only one person is chosen in a hundred years and Elisa is not sure that she knows why it has to be her. She is a younger princess, in her own eyes, pampered, fat and lazy with little drive or political acumen. Give her time, she's only 16.

On her 16th birthday she's married off to the king of a neighbouring country, a man she's never met before. It's a political match. The country is in turmoil and Elisa's self esteem takes another knock when she realises that he's only married her for the godstone and for the promise of her father's army to fight against invaders. Though he's polite to her and she begins to feel attracted to him they don't consummate the marriage. He won't even acknowledge her at first and he continues his relationship with his mistress. It's only when Elisa is kidnapped into the desert that her life begins to change and she begins to show how she might indeed fulfil her destiny as the bearer of the godstone.

I'm going to leave it there rather than heap major spoilers on top of the above minor ones. Suffice it to say that Carson cleverly subverts at least one obvious expectation. This is a book with romance in it, but it's much more than just a romance.

And now we get to the 'but.'

All credit to her, Ms Carson makes it clear that you don't have to be beautiful to be a heroine, and that's great, however, she does also make it perfectly clear that though you can be plain, you can't be FAT! and this is where I have a bone to pick. Elisa starts with such low self esteem that she can't understand why the handsome king wants her as his wife. She sees herself as totally unlovable. She wobbles when she walks and comfort eats because she feels unloved. Though she does perform one act of incredible bravery shortly after the book opens it's not until she undergoes various hardships that melt the fat from her ungainly body that she really begins to shine. In a few months she goes from being unable to walk very far without her body hurting, to being fit and slim and (oh-my-god) DESIRABLE. Because of course she wasn't at all desirable when she was FAT for goodness sake! It's the wrong message in this day and age when girls suffer from eating disorders due to a distorted view of the ideal body image. And that's why this book is getting a three star rating from me and not a five star one.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars E-book, 26 Oct 2013
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I really enjoyed this book. It was a great read and i am keen to read more by this author.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elisa, 15 Jun 2013
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I thoroughly enjoyed Fire & Thorns, and could not put it down. I am looking forward to reading the rest of Elisa's story.
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Fire and Thorns (Fire & Thorns Trilogy 1)
Fire and Thorns (Fire & Thorns Trilogy 1) by Rae Carson (Hardcover - 29 Sep 2011)
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