By Rae Carson
AR level: 5.0
AR points: 15.0
I suggest 7th through 12th grade.
I think this particular book popped up on my library recommended reads. I have read a great deal of teen fantasy, but because I was working on a manuscript of my own, I was trying to discover more in this genre (I’d been a huge consumer of the genre as a twenty-something).
The Girl of Fire and Thorns offers us an unlikely heroine. I love that Elisa struggles with her weight, and that she feels inferior to her older sister. She has so much room for growth, but you see that spark in her early on, making her easy to cheer for. Her magic comes to her in extraordinary fashion, and I love that this book has a more Mediterranean feeling to it. Very unique! There is some violence and discussion of mature themes, so upper elementary students may not be quite ready.
Description from B&N:
Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness. Elisa is the chosen one. But she is also the younger of two princesses. The one who has never done anything remarkable, and can’t see how she ever will. Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs her to be the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.
And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies, seething with dark magic, are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.
Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young. Most of the chosen do.