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The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.

Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he’s not the only one who needs her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

First Line:
"Prayer candles flicker in my bedroom."

Wow. Good, clean, amazing story.
Loved so many details and lines from this book. For instance:
"Only faint lines and slight weariness around her eyes reveal that she is older than I, maybe late twenties." (p. 59). What a great way to tell age and give detail to a character.

Elisa is a fat princess. She can't understand why she was chosen by her God as the Bearer of the Godstone. Only one is chosen every hundred years. Why her? Why not her beautiful, bright sister? Elisa stuffs herself and her low self esteem. But every once in a while a little glimpse of the fire inside her shines. Her growth is subtle and beautiful and amazing.
Alejandro is a scared prince. Marrying to procure soldiers to help save his kingdom. But memories of a loved one's death causes him to freeze and become indecisive.
Ximena is an old but lethal nurse maid. Ximena is the bearers protector. Elisa has no idea she's trained in the fine art of death.
Every place Elisa travels or lives is rich in detail. I almost felt like I was there in the heat of the desert or the coolness of a palace or sitting next to a special someone.
Each character is unique and has a flaw/quirk/personality.
From beginning to end, I enjoyed the way Carson slipped words together into beautiful sentences and built paragraphs that created an amazing story.
Twists! There are many twists. If a princess can be fat and a prince scared, this story will surprise you with a few great twists.

Finished without a cliff hanger (why is this important? Keep reading)

IT'S A TRILOGY! And this is the first book! ARGH

Rating: PG 13 (rating for war and violence though not detailed)
V: yes but not graphic
L: None
S: kisses


25% test (p.106):
"...her hands rub up and down my arms with despearte relief are testament to something deeper.
My nurse.
"I'm sorry." I reach into my pocket for the second scone, and my fingertips brush the leather pouch. It feels so huge and bulky there, and I worry that Ximena will see its shape through the fabric. " you a scone."
She takes it from me, a soft smile curving thin lips. "Thank you." She turns and links a companionable arm in mine to exort me back.
Ximena is tall and sturday and strong. As we walk together, arm in arm, I lan my head against her shoulder, taking comfort in her solid familiarity. Later that night, when I am certain Ximena again sleeps,  creep out tot he balcony and buy my dead Godstones at the root of my potted palm tree."


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