Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"Truly honorable death, the only honorable death, is one that enables life."

I finished reading Paul's October book! 

In case you missed them, here are the previous posts about The Girl of Fire and Thorns:

Ashley's Pre-Reading
Paul's Review
Paul's Pre-Reading

I really enjoyed this book once I got past all of the chaos at the beginning. I thought the beginning was very hectic and that a lot was going on. It seemed to start in medias res, and although I thought it eventually worked itself out, I felt like I couldn't get a grip on what was going on at first. Elisa was getting married but didn't want to be and she's fat and she wants her husband to be ugly but he's not and why are they even getting married so quickly anyway and... yeah. I felt like so many questions were thrown at me before the first chapter even ended.

That's not to say most of the questions went unanswered though! I really liked that Elisa was kept in the dark about the Godstone, and that she didn't really know anything about the prophecy. Because her people were Via Reforma, and took the sacred texts so literally, Elisa had no clue about what bearing the Godstone meant to the past, present, and future. I also liked that she believes herself to be unworthy of being the bearer and turns to food to quell her fears and doubts. Her eating habits are never made to be disgusting or looked down upon (except when the Prince calls her fat), and I feel like Carson is presenting a heroine who many teenage girls can relate to. She's overweight, timid, and nothing special (save for the Godstone in her belly), but she still rises up to the needs of her people and leads them to victory over the animagus and the advancing army.

By the end of the novel, Elisa is a completely different person. At first, she wanted to be loved. Then she was loved and loved in return, lost that love, and then just when she thought she might find love in Alejandro, she loses him too. Although I was NOT amused that Humberto was killed, I think it was a kind of necessary evil to help Elisa to  grow even more. I hate when the love interests are killed off, but that might just be because I'm kind of a sap when it comes to that. I was glad that Cosme and Elisa became friends, and that Elisa kept her promise to give the desert people their own kingdom with Cosme as their queen. 

I really enjoyed the plot, the character development, the descriptions of the people and the setting, and the fake religion that can be taken to be similar to many religions followed today. The "God" figure is not called something that looks like the author did a keyboard smash, and the priests and followers and the idea of one faction creating another denomination of sorts is very reminiscent of Catholicism/Christianity. I thought it was handled very well, and wasn't offensive in any way. 

I can't wait for the sequel to come out! Or sequels, I guess, since it's part of a trilogy. 

Definitely a 4.5/5 for this one! Only because the beginning was so crazy crazy though.


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