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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

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

Spoilers for The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Review of first book here).

Summary from Goodreads

She does not know what awaits her at the enemy's gate.

Elisa is a hero.

She led her people to victory over a terrifying, sorcerous army. Her place as the country's ruler should be secure. But it isn't.

Her enemies come at her like ghosts in a dream, from foreign realms and even from within her own court. And her destiny as the chosen one has not yet been fulfilled.

To conquer the power she bears, once and for all, Elisa must follow a trial of long-forgotten—and forbidden—clues, from the deep, hidden catacombs of her own city to the treacherous seas. With her go a one-eyed spy, a traitor, and the man whom—despite everything—she is falling in love with.

If she's lucky, she will return from this journey. But there will be a cost.

4/5 Star Non-Spoiler Review

Compared to the first book in this series this book was so much better, I was sceptical when I read other review of this book who said that the trilogy got better, but they were right. Also I have to mention the book cover; it is so beautiful, I love the different shades of blue/purple and the gold letters and pattern.
This book has a lot of the same themes as the last book but in my opinion they were played out better. I love Elisa's new character, when I was reading this book I thought that some of her dialog really showed the independent and strong, yet vulnerable person she has become.
"I want to be queen of this great country not because someone is holding my hand, but because I can do it. Me. Elisa." 
"I am ... anxious. About being queen. I'm not sure I'm doing a good job of it so far."
There continues to lots of mystery, mistrust and unanswered questions in this book. There is also romance, it more of a slow growing feeling rather than the almost 'love at first slight' that Elisa had in the first book. I again liked the romance wasn't straight forward that there were complications and mixed feelings and no love triangle! Elisa's also shows emotions in this book with guilt also being shown, something I liked was the realistic choices and consequences to her decisions. However, I was a bit annoyed by the Zafira, I don't really understand why she couldn't have worked that out without the long and dangerous journey?

Over all this book was an enjoyable read and leaves us with a bit of a cliff hanger. I think that with book three we will continue to see Elisa grow into a stronger Queen, I can't wait.