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"Distinctive for its luminous prose, its hint of romance, and Elisa, a strong, smart heroine that readers will truly fall in love with."--Sarah Prineas, author of The Magic Thief "Elisa is a wonderful, believable hero, the kind that every reader can imagine as herself. I charged through the book in two days, savoring Elisa's realness and her unique, wonderful world! Engrossing."--Tamora Pierce, author of New York Times bestseller Bloodhound "I stayed up until 2AM reading this last night. Intense, unique. . . . Definitely recommended."--Veronica Roth, author of the best-selling Divergent "A delicious debut."--Paolo Bacigalupi, Printz Award-winning author of Ship Breaker "Intoxicating . . . Readers will find themselves immersed in this world and believing it."--Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) "With The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Carson joins the ranks of writers like Kristin Cashore, Megan Whalen Turner, and Tamora Pierce as one of YA's best writers of high fantasy."--Locus "Set in intrigue-filled courts, battlefields, and windswept deserts, this riveting fantasy tests its heroine's limits as she struggles to fulfill a destiny wrapped in an ancient mystery. A breathtaking adventure in a fascinating, richly-drawn world."--Leah Cypess, author of Mistwood "Rae Carson's heroine is a perfect blend of the ordinary and the extraordinary. I loved her."--Megan Whalen Turner, author of the Newbery Honor Book, THE THIEF "I LOVED this book! It's a transformation story that both teens and adults can believe in. Rae Carson has delivered a unique magical system and built a world with strong series potential."--Cinda Williams Chima, author of the best-selling Seven Realms series
Gr 8 Up-Princess Elisa, 16, is the Chosen One. Bearing a sapphire-colored godstone in her navel, she is supposedly marked for greatness. But she doesn't see how. Chubby and naive, the most heroic act Elisa has ever performed is sneaking into the palace kitchen to steal coconut pastries. Shortly after her secret wedding to a neighboring king as part of a political agreement, Elisa is kidnapped and taken deep into the desert. Once the initial shock wears off, Elisa sympathizes with her captors, a band of revolutionaries written off by her kingdom as the faceless casualties of a previous skirmish. She even finds love with Humberto, the first of her captors to show her kindness. With the certainty of war on the horizon, Elisa initiates a plan to help her kingdom win and, hopefully, free her new friends from their political ties. Rae Carson's story (2011), as well as the world in which it is set, is rich and complex. Although the plot is heavy with political and religious overtones, the author manages this without seeming preachy. Elisa's character is expertly-drawn, and her transformation from a whiny, self-absorbed princess to a courageous young woman capable of leading her people is believable, very well-executed, and performed to perfection by Jennifer Ikeda. Fans of Tamora Pierce will be enchanted by this strong heroine and eagerly await the next volume, The Crown of Embers (2012, both Greenwillow).-Alissa Bach, Oxford Public Library, Oxford MI (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.