My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved almost everything about The Girl of Fire and Thorns.
First it was the world building. So much of the fantasy I read (and, okay, write) is based on medieval England, so it was refreshing to see a different setting. The beginning of the book gave me a somewhat Spanish vibe, and I don’t even know what the rest of it was based on, which is probably a sign I need to broaden my nonfiction reading a little. All of it came to life, though, from the humid jungle to the scorching desert. I also loved what a central role the religion plays in this book. In a lot of fantasy books, there might be a religion, but it’s sort of in the background. Here, though, I loved seeing the church take a role in the mess that’s afoot.
I also loved how different from the usual fantasy heroine Elisa was. Usually you see girls who are confident, and pretty, and can kick a lot of butt. Elisa was none of these things, at least not at first. But she had other things going for her, even if she didn’t realize it: she was smart, and determined, and brave. My favorite part of The Girl of Fire and Thorns was watching her realize these things over the course of the book.
The only thing I was iffy on was the romance. I just wasn’t feeling it – but that might be because I was shipping Elisa with a different guy entirely. While the romance is a big part of the story, it isn’t the most important part, which is why I was willing to let it slide. The story was ultimately about Elisa learning to believe in herself, not about which boy she ended up with.
I can’t recommend this book highly enough!