The Girl of Fire and Thorns – Rae Carson

006202650x.01._sx142_sy224_sclzzzzzzz_Elisa is God-Chosen – bearing the gem that marks her as special. But she’s never felt special. She’s a princess, but the second daughter, and her older sister has always been the one that will be a great queen. So when Elisa finds herself very suddenly married off to the king of the neighboring kingdom, she’s at a loss for what she’ll do.

She’s immediately caught up in a war – Joya D’Arena has a seaport, and the neighboring kingdom of Invierne desperately wants it. Intrigues abound, and Elisa also finds that being God-Chosen is seen very differently here than it is in her home.

What I liked about this book is even though there’s a Chosen One, and you know she’s going to pull through and save the day, she’s flawed. She’s been drowning her insecurities in food, so she’s in absolutely no shape for most of the adventures that await her, and she’s desperately insecure. I wouldn’t say it’s a perfect characters rendering (reading the reviews of this book online is interesting – I can definitely see where the people that didn’t like it are coming from). But it’s nice to see someone try and play with that trope.

There’s also a pretty heavy religious component, which again, since Elisa is God-Chosen, is actually nice to see. The differences in the theology between Elisa’s home kingdom of Orovalle and the older kingdom of Joya D’Arena are good plot points, if that makes any sense. But I’ll admit, I’ve always been a sucker for good world building.

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