Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Girl of Fire and Thorns

It's OK to love YA, and believe me, I do. While I also read a lot of adult fiction, young adult novels hold a special place in my heart. Maybe it's because I am a teacher of young adults, maybe it's because I never truly grew up, but either way the themes of rebellion and finding your own way just appeal to me.

My past two days (work days, I might add!) have been spent fully immersed in the world of Rae Carson's The Girl of Fire and Thorns. Now I'm an avid reader, but 423 pages in two days is not a feat I have accomplished recently, and this is a true testament to the riveting nature of this novel. I am late to the game as this novel came out in 2012.
Elisa is a relatable protagonist and reluctant heroine in this fantasy novel of God's blessing, sorcery and warfare. She bears the Godstone embedded in her navel (my one complaint about this story - I couldn't get Troll dolls out of my head!) as a sign that she is the one chosen once in a century for a service for God.  Don't be put off by the religious aspects of this book. While religion is a strong presence in the novel, it never becomes preachy; a difficult accomplishment.

There is a lot of back and forth of her finding her way to what she can identify as her personal service.  All along the way every group she encounters believe that the service they require is the one destined by God. This can be seen as an eerie parallel to some groups around the world today.
Elisa is a dynamic character who elicits a sad sort of pity from the reader before her transformative journey, causing the reader to transition along with her, finally resting with a warm glow in their center at novel's end. She is definitely a strong female character that will rate up there with some the reader's favorites.

Just found out this novel has a sequel! I'll be back eventually...

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