Sixteen year old Lucero-Elisa de Riquereza (Elisa), is the Princess of Orovalle. She is a self-conscious girl who thinks she is fat and finds solace in food. She is also a very important girl. She is one of the few Chosen humans to bear a Godstone; a jewel buried deep inside her naval that responds to prayer and alerts her to danger. Being a Bearer of the Godstone means Elisa will one day have to fulfill her Service to God and do his will.
In a marriage arranged by Elisa's father, she is set to marry King Alejandro de Vega of Joya d' Arena. She will leave her home directly after the wedding and travel to the King's land to assume the role of Queen. It isn't until Elisa reachers her destination that she realizes how many people are looking for the Bearer of the Godstone. Some are looking to her for help while others look for her to destroy her.
I really enjoyed The Girl of Fire and Thorns. Rae Carson takes the reader into a world of war, prophecy, and sorcery. In a time of political unrest, Elisa questions her faith while dealing with secrecy and finding a little romance in someone she least expects. Elisa goes from a self-conscious girl into a mature young woman willing to take on the enemy and save her people. She learns to trust her instincts and believe in herself. She gains confidence through her journey and becomes a respected Queen to her people.
The Girl of Fire and Thorns will appeal to fans of Kristin Cashore (FIRE and GRACELING), and Melina Marchetta (FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK).