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Book Review: Crown of Embers

By Mswicegood @MeganSwicegood
Book Review: Crown of EmbersCrown of Embers by Rae Carson
Pages: 416
Series: Girl of Fire and Thorns
Grade: 8+
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Source: Advanced copy thanks to Jen @ I Read Banned Books
Amazon | Goodreads
Description: 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.
Thoughts: Rae Carson somehow managed to make a kiss in a sewer sexy and hot. How?! How did she do that?
Elisa is still learning to rule. She's a strong woman but unskilled in politics and unsure of her allies. The one person she trusts the most is her personal guard, Hector. Their relationship is complicated though. They have a political relationship, a protector/protected relationship, and a deep friendship that might be more. Elisa must choose a husband for political reasons, but she finds her heart belongs to the commander of her guard.
After an attempt is made on her life, she goes on a quest for the source of her power, hoping to use it as a weapon against her enemies. As she journeys to an exotic new land her friendships are tested and her political prowess is built. Her journey becomes a chess match as she balances her own feelings and needs with those of her country, inadvertently betraying Hector and possibly causing him his life.
Hector and Elisa's relationship really shines in this book. It's built on friendship and mutual experiences and goals. With so much of YA relationships being dysfunctional and one sided, it's always refreshing to read a well written realistic relationship based on mutual love and respect. Carson even manages to build tons of sexual tension and, yes, make a kiss in a sewer hot and steamy. Bravo, Rae Carson.
I love reading about kick-ass female heroines and Elisa is one of my favorites. She has a big heart but uses her head. She asks for advice and help when she needs it and isn't afraid to make a hard choices and sacrifices.
This is an excellent followup to Girl of Fire and Thorns with all of our favorite characters back. There's a maturity to Elisa in this book that wasn't present throughout the first book and Crown of Embers shines because of it. This book doesn't suffer from any of the normal 2nd book in a series issues, though, I do feel the need to warn you that it ends on a cliff hanger.
I adore this series. There's action, magic and a kick-ass female heroine. If you haven't started this series yet, I recommend you do now.
Book Review: Crown of Embers Major love for this series. This book does not dissapoint. 
Author Note: I got a chance to meet Rae at The Austin Teen Book Festival a few weeks ago and she is awesome! I had such a great experience with her - she's funny and warm and really really nice.
Book Review: Crown of Embers
Book Review: Crown of Embers

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