Thursday, October 10, 2013

Review: Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

ISBN: 9780062026514
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Series: Fire and Thorns #2
Page Count: 410 pages
Find it on Goodreads
My reviews in this series

Elisa is the hero of her country. She led her people to victory against a terrifying enemy, and now she is their queen. But she is only seventeen years old. Her rivals may have simply retreated, choosing stealth over battle. And no one within her court trusts her-except Hector, the commander of the royal guard, and her companions. As the country begins to crumble beneath her and her enemies emerge from the shadows, Elisa will take another journey. With a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with, Elisa crosses the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone's power. That is not all she finds.
  • The plot was so much more interesting and well-paced than the last book. Also, Rae Carson's writing style was a lot better! In the first book, it was hard to get into the rhythm of her writing style and at times it was awkward. In this second installment, I had a few issues, but the writing was smoother and very easy to find a rhythm with as a whole. The plot, pacing and writing together won me over and I'm definitely a fan of this series!
  • Elisa is a much stronger character than she was in the first book, less annoying and constantly growing. I loved her development in both books, but this one especially.
  • Rae Carson is apparently one of those authors who likes to do the exact opposite of what you want to happen, then rip your heart out and stomp on it. I found myself feeling every emotion I could think of throughout this book, extreme sadness, anger/frustration, fear - but at the same time I laughed and cheered the characters on at certain times too! I admire Carson for that :)
  • Hector <3. and Storm. My two favorite characters in the series. I want Hector for myself. Storm had to grow on me a bit because he was so full of disdain for the main character, but his unswerving loyalty to Queen Elisa won me over in the end.
  • Elisa, the MC, started to develop a true sense of humor in this book, and sometimes made me laugh out loud. Her sarcasm, something the character Storm hates about her and her people, made me love her even more.
  • I'm becoming more and more intrigued by the antagonists as a whole, the Inviernos. This book hinted toward some major revelations that may be coming in book three and I'm dyyyying to find out what it is. So kudos to Carson for making it unbearable to go on without this knowledge because I picked up the third and final book shortly after reading this one.

  • There wasn't as much "grinning" and "gasping" from every character as there was in the last book; however, it's still there and still annoys me. People don't grin in near death situations! Its just not realistic!
  • Some random scenes, two in particular (but I won't spoil), just felt out of place or unrealistic. The nonchalant reaction of the main character to certain events just kind of threw me off.
  • The ending was kind of boring and also unrealistic. Elisa's reaction once again just doesnt jive with the way things happened. Also, it seemed like Carson intended this to be a bit of cliffhanger, taking away the one thing we have to be happy about - but it wasnt. It was anticlimactic in a sense, but hey, I still wanted to read the next book immediately, so I guess she did her job, right?


When I read the first book in this series, it kind of fell flat for me, but I'd become fond enough of the characters that I wanted to read the next one. The next one, as it happens, was much more interesting than the first, more action packed with an awesome developing romance, and the pacing and writing was so much better. I enjoyed this one so much and by the this time, I've already read the final installment, The Bitter Kingdom, almost immediately after reading this one (review to come on that one). All in all, while this sequel wasn't perfect, I've fallen even more in love with the characters and am desperate to know more about the world.

Have any of you read this book/series? What did you think? Agree or disagree? Love hearing from you guys!


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