For one reason or another, this book didn’t have much initial cover appeal to me, so I passed it over early on without taking the time to find out what it was about. Foolish I tell you. It wasn’t until I jump aboard the Throne of Glass bandwagon that I started noticing the many cross-references between the two series. Anyway, after a massive reading binge, I’ve decided The Girl of Fire and Thorns just might be among my all-time favourites – I loved it.But for now let’s suffice to say I’m completely thrilled about how much I enjoyed book one.
it had everything I expect from a great YA novel. It had just about everything I expect from a robust high fantasy novel, too. Great, relatable characters, a unique world filled with interesting cultures, magic, an epic adventure, and fantastic pacing. I laughed, I cried, I yelled, and I seethed – basically I was completely invested from page one and felt every victory and loss as if they were my own. It’s always nice when a book id written so well that it can draw you out of reality, and this one did so in a way that will stick with me for years.
Elisa, the protagonist, is definitely what I would call an atypical heroine. Often, champions I’ve read about in other books start out with a solid set of skills, sporting flaws that are superficial, or easy to overcome. I actually can’t immediately think of a female lead with so many things to overcome as Elisa at the beginning of the book. As a heavily protected princess, Elisa had a very few skills that would allow her to be self-sufficient. What’s more, she was also dealing with the emotional damage of feeling unloved, unwanted, and worthless. These feelings caused her to seek comfort from wherever she could find it… primarily in food. Overcoming these things took no small amount of effort,and because of that, Elisa is my favourite component of this book. She was compassionate, smart, courageous, and adaptable. And although she had magic, it was those endearingly human traits that let her do extraordinary things, touching my heart in the process. I truly loved going on this journey with her, and look forward to seeing where it takes her next.
The world building was probably my second favourite element of the story. I love it when authors imagine up multiple cultures, give them some swords, and religious convictions, and throw them together and to see what happens. I find it fascinating to see how they develop and react around one another, and I have the feeling I’ve only scratched the surface of the cultural convictions this series has to offer. And the setting, with everything from tropical forests to desert wastelands, the settings were vivid and exciting. I don’t know if this is what the author was going for, but I felt like I was experiencing landscape similar to Central and South America. It was wicked cool.
Overall, this is one of those books I want all my friends to read because I’m just bursting to talk about it. I liked The Girl of Fire and Thorns so much, It has similarities to things I’ve read before, but there were enough unique elements to make me feel like I read something fresh and original. If you need me, I will be devouring the second and third books in the series.