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The Girl of Fire and Thorns

by Rae Carson

Published by Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins, 2011
423 pages
ISBN: trade 978𢠢62026484

Ages 12-16

Sixteen-year-old Elisa, second daughter of the King of Oravalle, is the bearer of the Godstone梐 jewel in her navel. While she抯 always been told her destiny is to do something great, it isn抰 until Elisa arrives in the kingdom of Joya d扐rena as new wife of the king that she discovers an entire prophecy about the Godstone bearer. As she studies the enigmatic legend, she抯 also navigating an awkward position at court: Her new husband, kind but inattentive, will not publicly acknowledge her as his wife. At a council session to discuss a growing threat from the kingdom of Invierne, Elisa also sees he is plagued by indecision. When members of a desert tribe kidnap Elisa, believing her power as stone bearer can be used against Invierne animagi who kill and maim with magic, Elisa discovers that the Invierne have been attacking them for years while the king did nothing. She becomes devoted to the desert people抯 struggle and proves to be a master strategist. But the Invierne turn out to be most interested in obtaining Elisa抯 Godstone, which makes understanding the prophecy more important than ever. A story full of action and intrigue is beautifully weighted by the complexity of its themes (from religion to politics to war) and characters, including a hero who is one of many strong, smart women in Rae Carson抯 rich debut fantasy. Elisa抯 physical transformation梥he starts out overweight but ends up a fit warrior梚s the only predictable plot element in a rewarding novel that rises far above most fantasy offerings.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center


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