The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
The Skinny: After becoming a hero to her country, Elisa is now queen. But at only seventeen, she is mistrusted by her advisers, suffering from repeated attempts on her life, and trying to pick up the pieces of her crumbling country. But as her enemies being to return out of the shadows, Elisa must decide to make a stand and save not only her country, but herself from danger. She must take a perilous journey to look further into the power of the Godstone and learn how she can save her country.
BFF?: Elisa is back and better than ever! I love that she’s not this whiney girl anymore but instead a strong, fierce queen who is still learning about life, love, and what it means to lead. She was hesitant about making rulings, but knew exactly how to react when the situation called for it. But Elisa is growing up and realizing what that entails – especially what being a woman entails. Although she isn’t sexual, I loved seeing her sexual awakening. Like realizing she craves certain things, she worries about acting certain ways that are completely teen. While she does develop this great BFF relationship with her maid, Mara, I would certainly like to wedge my way in there so we could be this awesome trio.
Readability: I’ve praised Carson’s writing in my review of Girl of Fire and Thorns and the writing doesn’t waiver in this one either. In fact, I was more invested in Crown of Embers than GOFAT (wow, didn’t realize that would say Go Fat…). Everything flowed well, there weren’t any awkward or weird spots, and it kept me hooked the entire way through.
Crush Level: 9
Whoa there, a 9? Yeah, Hector was that awesome. When we first met him in GOFAT I was not overly impressed, thought he was much older than Elisa and couldn’t understand how everyone thought he was so sexy and meant for her. Now, I know. He got rid of the stache and started acting hot. And he’s not old; he’s Alejandro’s age! And he’s sexy.
But seriously, Hector was all the things I love out of a good romantic interest – he was sullen but whole-heartedly caring about Elisa. He was torn between his feelings towards her and his place as a guard. And when the tension between them got so thick you could cut it with a knife and they kissed bazam! My heart went pitter-pat and I feel totally for Hector.
I love books that show the underdog becoming a ruler and focus on their trials and tribulations of their new position.
Spoiler Bonus Point – Highlight with cursor to read (it really is a spoiler!)Gay Fiance
Elisa is told she needs to marry so lords from all over the land come to visit her and court her. One is Tristan, who is dead sexy and funny and really gets along great with Elisa. That is, until she finds him making out with his valet!
I always find it kind of funny when there is mention of birth control in fantasy novels and it’s like “Oh, you drink this special tea and no babies!” or “There’s an herb that, when mixed with mud and spread on your nose, will prevent babies!” I mean, kudos for including the importance of protection, it’s just funny to me when it’s in fantasy novels.
Commencement Speech: Apparently 9:30 on a Saturday morning is the BEST time to go find books at the library, because all the new books are put on shelves! So when I saw The Crown of Embers sitting casually on the new releases shelf, I snatched it up, despite telling myself BEFORE I went into the library that I was only allowed to pick out ONE book.