Review: The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

The Crown of EmbersHeaders
The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
Book Two of the Fire & Thorns series
Published September 18, 2012 by Greenwillow Books
Genres: Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy
Buy this book from Amazon

I read this as an ebook on the Scribd app on my iPhone 6.

“And I refuse to be governed by fear.  The life stretching before me is that of a queen.  It’s a life I chose.  Fought for, even.  I cannot–will not–squander it on dread.”  pg. 8

Despite maintaining her title as Queen, Elisa must now legitimize it, all the while facing round-the-clock death threats, the pressures of a destiny unfulfilled, and a budding romance that may very well unravel everything she’s worked so hard to achieve.

There has been no buzz about a movie adaptation for this book.

So I’m going to start out this review by saying I have never ever read an entire book on my phone.  Sure, I would whip it out and read if I’m in the salon or while I wait in the car for a friend but it’s with the full knowledge that I’m just passing time.  The Crown of Embers is the first book I have read on my iPhone 6 in its entirety.

Why is this important information, you ask?

Well, I want it to exemplify just how much I wanted to read Rae Carson’s second Fire & Thorns book.  And because Thriftbooks didn’t have the series available and I didn’t want to buy it off of Amazon, I utilized the Scribd app (and justified why I spend $8.99 on the service every month).

The Crown of Embers does not disappoint one bit.  It is everything I like about The Girl of Fire and Thorns (see: review) and MORE.  Because oh my god, this book has romance.  And not just your run-in-the-mill romance.  This is sexual tension at its finest.  As a reader, there is never a point where I think, come on people just get it together!  No, this sexual tension starts as a spark and then becomes a forest fire.  It’s innocent yet provocative.  There’s angst but not enough to make you want to pull your hair out.  Ahhh, it is just SO good.

The character development is also great.  I especially love what Ms. Carson does with Mara.  Not only is Mara’s character development wonderful, but it also gives Elisa a dimension not evident in the first book.  It’s nice to see glimpses of Elisa as a normal 17-year-old girl, giggling about boys and just taking a break from perils of her life.  (And man, there are a lot of perils!)  Mara brings that out of Elisa and gives us readers another element that we can relate to.

Hector is another character that I absolutely adore.  Anytime he speaks or is talked about, I eat up the words because he is just so gosh darn intriguing!  As an aside, for some reason, Elisa’s sister really annoys the crap out of me.  She’s barely in the series but it seems that whenever she “shows” up or is mentioned, I want to punch a wall.  Maybe that’s just me?  Elisa, on the other hand, continues to astound me with her bravery and cleverness.

My only issue with the book is that a major storyline ends pretty anti-climactic and a big chunk of the novel seems a bit directionless.  But maybe the latter is a characteristic of book 2s because the author has to lay the foundation for the finale.

If you haven’t read the first book, get on that and then brace yourself for an even better ride with this one.

Rae Carson is a huge football fan.  She played women’s flag league for four years in college.  (source)

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