Sunday, February 10, 2013
Review #1405 The Girl of Fire and Thorn by Rae Carson
The Girl of Fire and Thorn by Rae Carson
Rating: two stars (out of four)
It reminded me of The Two Moon Princess and The Goose Girl, but it was better than the Two Moon Princess and not nearly as good as The Goose Girl. It was an entertaining plot. I wanted to know what happened next and that kept me reading.
I liked the main character, Elisa, but I definitely felt like there were some flaws in her personality. I didn’t understand why her husband was so kind to her. I thought there needed to be a lot more background for me to trust him like that. He never felt fleshed out enough for me to grasp what he was like and believe he was a good guy.
Near the middle of the book, with that kid, Humberto, I did NOT realize what was going on until it was spelled out.
And here's a spoiler rant. Don't read unless you've read the book. Highlight to view spoiler.
I think the reason I was annoyed with the romance between Elisa and Humberto was because I viewed Humberto as a boy. When it was revealed that she and the boy were in love, I had to take a step back and go, "What? Since when?" I guess I was just assuming that Elisa and her king husband would live happily ever after - at least, that's what I had been seeing from their earlier interactions. The romance between Elisa and Humberto felt forced - it needed more development to be believable. That's why when he was killed, I kind of didn't care. That sounds horribly callous, but there hadn't been enough character development for me to mourn his loss. It seemed a little cheap too because then Elisa was "available" again to love whomever.
Also, when the King confessed his love for another woman, that just made me sad. I was also disgruntled because he had been portrayed as this seemingly strong character and then nothing came of it. It seemed that Elisa was doomed to end up with no one. Not that I'm one of those crazed the-main-character-has-to-end-up-with-someone type readers, but the book felt disjointed without it. I probably wouldn't have cared as much if the romance hadn't been such a big part of the story and then didn't deliver. Though when Hector was talking to Elisa at the end I kept thinking, "Oh, wait, THIS is the guy she's supposed to love? After Humberto and the King?" But nothing happened with that either.
Basically I thought the story had an interesting premise but the plot needed help. I didn't connect with the characters and sometimes I was confused by what was happening in the book because it didn't make sense with the rest of the story. There were definitely aspects I liked because it kept me reading, but when I was done it fell a little flat. The ending felt rushed and left me muddled. It all seemed to wrap up so quickly and I didn't see as much change in Elisa as I was led to believe happened. While I understood all of the things Elisa went through and could understand why it ended that way, I kind of was hoping for a little glimmer of something else. As it was, I didn't realize there was going to be a sequel - so with that in mind, the ending makes a tad bit more sense, but at the time I was annoyed. I liked reading the story, but there were several developments along the way that fell apart. This book wasn't for me, but I could see other people enjoying it. I probably wouldn't recommend though.