Book Review: The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Source: Purchased
Rating: ★★★★★ 
Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository

In the sequel to the acclaimed The Girl of Fire and Thorns, a seventeen-year-old princess turned war queen faces sorcery, adventure, untold power, and romance as she fulfills her epic destiny.

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. A breathtaking, romantic, and dangerous second volume in the Fire and Thorns trilogy. – Goodreads

As you might remember, Rae Carson’s The Girl of Fire and Thorns was a perfect fantasy read for me. I screamed, I squeed, I cried, I fangirled…I was pretty much the physical embodiment of exclamation points over it. Yes, it WAS that good and The Crown of Embers immediately became one of my most anticipated titles of 2012. Friends and I tried to track it down at BEA, I missed it at ALA by a day, and then, when I actually got the book in my hands on release day, work and real life got in the way so I didn’t get the chance to read it until recently, TWO WEEKS later. Agony, let me tell you! Anyway, enough personal anecdotes, The Crown of Embers was astonishing and, hello, yes, much gushing ahead!

First off, Rae Carson’s pacing was so energetic and intense. A LOT happens in The Crown of Embers, and it was easy to see that the stakes were much higher from the first chapter. From there on out, it was a complete adventure with Elisa, Hector, and everyone else and, HOLY CRAP, things got crazy! There were twists and turns, political drama, and so much danger. I was glued to the pages and only stepped away from the book when absolutely forced to. Needless to say, The Crown of Embers had my heart racing with every page turn.

Next is Elisa. MY QUEEN. I am so, so proud of her growth. She has so much weight on her shoulders, and it would be so easy for her to crumble under it, but instead she grows and matures. She demonstrated so much determination and courage, both in standing up for herself and her kingdom, and I continue to look forward to cheering her on. Trust me, Elisa is a character to admire.

And then, of course, there’s the romance. I won’t say a lot about it, but excuse this outburst here and now: OHMYGODOHMYGOD, SUCH PERFECTION. No, really, Rae Carson knows how to build a relationship based on mutual respect and admiration and I was completely crazy over it. I held my breath during their scenes because their chemistry was so palpable and, gah, more of this in my reads, por favor.

Basically, The Crown of Embers is such a quality read and I wish I could put this series into the hands of everyone I know. If you haven’t read it yet, please do so that I can have more people to gush with. Filled with great writing, adventure, romance, and a fierce heroine, this is one fantasy series that I cannot recommend enough.

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About the Blogger

Stephanie is 20-something. From Los Angeles. Gryffindor. Professional procrastinator. A repeat button abuser. And many other things. You can find her on twitter. You can also subscribe to the blog!


  1. Great review! I keep meaning to start this series but I keep putting it off for no good reason. You’ve definitely convinced me to get a move on though now. I’ve been looking for a good fantasy lately and this certainly sounds like it. I love any book that has a great female heroine too. I really want to get to book two also because this sounds so good!

  2. I’m really looking forward to this, especially the romance! I’m glad to hear it was a good follow up to the first book, which I adored. Great review, Steph! :)

  3. Oh, Steph, wow. WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW.
    I haven’t read the first book, but when I get a gush of THIS level from YOU on a fantasy novel? It has my attention :O


  4. Oh boy, you are making me want this SO BAD! That is to say, the first book as well as the sequel because I haven’t actually read the first one yet (SHAME!). But I completely trust your recommendation so I WILL read it! …when I can find the time.

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