The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns #2)
by Rae Carson (Goodreads Author)She does not know what awaits her at the enemy's gate.
Elisa is a hero.
She led her people to victory over a terrifying, sorcerous army. Her place as the country's ruler should be secure. But it isn't.
Her enemies come at her like ghosts in a dream, from foreign realms and even from within her own court. And her destiny as the chosen one has not yet been fulfilled.
To conquer the power she bears, once and for all, Elisa must follow a trial of long-forgotten—and forbidden—clues, from the deep, hidden catacombs of her own city to the treacherous seas. With her go a one-eyed spy, a traitor, and the man whom—despite everything—she is falling in love with.
If she's lucky, she will return from this journey. But there will be a cost.
My Review: 6/10
In some ways, the story got better and in some ways it got worse.
This is not a standalone novel; you'll want to read the previous book first. *Light SPOILERS ahead*
I understood that Elisa was trying to be diplomatic and civil, but she could do that while still being a strong leader. I mean, if she was critical of alejandro for being weak, I found it unbelievable that she would be so lily-livered about everything. For goodness sake, I expected her to rearrange the condes' priorities when they kept trying to mollycoddle her and kept being condescending, but Elisa disappointed.
It was better in that the food obsession finally stopped and the storyline was more interesting.
But what really kept me from engaging with the story was the religious aspect. It seemed like ms. Carson took everything from christianity and then twisted it. This is not a new concept, but the fact that she still called him God instead of a made up name for a fictional religion in a fantasy story troubled me. I mean, how many young adults have read the Bible to be able to pick out which parts are true and which parts are fiction? More likely, they'll recognize something they've heard before, pertaining to christianity, and therefore think the whole thing is scripture. But it's not. As I said, it's twisted and misapplied and the lessons and disconnect the heroine experiences as a result could confuse and mislead a young reader's faith. That left a really bad taste in my mouth. I will be careful who I recommend this to, if anyone.