Every century, there is a Chosen One.
Someone chosen for greatness.
In this century, I am the Chosen One.
But I'm far from being great.
I've never done anything remarkable.
And I don't see how I ever will.
I became the secret wife of a king.
A king who needs the Chosen One.
Not a failure of a princess.
The country will at war soon.
A revolution to persuade the king to act first is at hand.
The same revolution who thinks I can save them all.
My name is Eliza.
Hi guys! Today, I'm Lucero-Eliza, or just Eliza for short :)
Book: The Girl of Fire and Thorns
Author: Rae Carson
Series: Fire and Thorns
Book Standing: Book 1
Setting: Joya d'Arena, Orovalle, the desert (parts of a fictional world).
POV: first person, told by Eliza
Genre: YA fantasy
Reading: first time
Favorite Line: "I promise to spare you further embarrassment. Next time, I'll let you die."
Rating: 4 stars
It's been a while since I've read a high-fantasy book. This was a nice refresher to why I love fantasy so much!
I really love Eliza's character. She is a round character, and she changes both physically and mentally in a realistic way. At the beginning, she's full of self doubt for both her physical and mental being, with this overall sense of helplessness. She doesn't know what to do, and feels inadequate. But through the events that take place, she changes. We see her confidence beginning to grow, and her decisions become independent and brave. Gone is the mere girl floundering around trying to find a reason to stay out of everyone's way. Instead, she becomes a strong woman, able to think quick on her feet and to see the big pictures in war.
I particularly like the beginning, where we see that Eliza, who knows that she's been pampered her entire life, wants to help out more, but is hesitant because she doesn't know what use she can be given the lifestyle she's lead so far. Yes, she makes a few mistakes, but when you think about it, those are very realistic actions given the circumstances.
Eliza's growth is one that is quite admirable. I'm sure we all would like to be able to break free of the Useless Shell and emerge as a leader, one who stands strong and proud with her people. In a way, Eliza sort of has two kinds of friends/people, all who view her completely differently: the members of the royal court, who see her as a princess, and her desert companions, who strip her of her princess role, forcing her to build an identity other than "princess".
Next paragraph is spoiler, so highlight it if you want to read it. Else skip down.
Humberto. HUMBERTO. I accidentally read a spoiler before I read this book, so I knew that he dies, but STILL. When he was murdered, I was devastated. Seriously. I want to applaud the author here for being able to create such a loveable character in a mere few hundred pages. A character, who though we haven't known long, is able to leave readers mourning his death. Because if we all had Humbertos in our lives, life would be a lot brighter.
The Godstone. This is how you know you're God's Chosen One. There's literally a stone in your navel, which warms and cools in response to prayers and danger. It's embedded into you, and it holds a lot of power (if you know how to use it), and lots of people want to get their hands on either the stone, or its bearer. Which leads to issues in regards to Eliza's safety, but hey, what's life (or a book) without danger?
The take on religion was also very original and unique. The belief of God among the people and characters is extremely prevalent, but also the way God is represented. A lot of times, God is known to be that omniscient presence that's there but not really, but in this book, God is always guiding Eliza somehow. God leads Eliza, chooses her as the chosen one, but what Eliza is trying to decipher is why. There are also two main holy texts that explain the roles of God's Chosen Ones, which Eliza studies furiously, and it's actually quite interesting. Sort of like a "How-to-succeed-as-God's-champion-101". If only we had texts like those in real life.
Bottom line: if there's a stone in your navel, there's a chance you might be God's chosen one. And if you want to know how to survive as a bearer of a Godstone, read The Girl of Fire and Thorns so that you can learn from Eliza!