Author: Rae Carson
Pages: Hardcover, 423
Publication: September 20, 2011
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. She 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 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. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. 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.
I hadn't read a fantasy book in a long time. So, this book was a refreshing way to get back into the genre. It was action and plot packed in a way that kept me completely invested the entire time.
The characters in this book were absolutely amazing. I LOVED Elisa. I related to her so much, which is one of the best thing about this book. I felt the same exact things as she did, and I connected to her, and grew attached to her. Rae Carson writes this story so well, that I felt that I was Elisa. I felt what she felt, I loved who she loved. What I loved most about this book, was that Elisa wasn't the stereotypical princess. She wasn't stick thin, and she wasn't perfect. Elisa was someone just like me, despite her powers. She progressed in this book so much, that this book could be a stand alone. She became a confident women who finally became comfortable in her own skin.
But let's not forget the boys! I LOVED Humberto and Alejandro SO. DARN. MUCH. They were both great, developed characters, who provided fantastic love interests for Elisa. The love triangle (that wasn't really a love triangle) was brilliant, yet very very sad. (I mean, RAE CARSON, how could you do this to me!)
The story was fantastic. I loved how Carson threw us right into the story, and didn't bore us with numerous details, but instead, ingrained them into the story. Also, it developed very well, and what I loved most about it, was that it was realistic. With fantasy books, it's hard to consider anything as realistic, but Carson manages to pull it off. The violence, the war, it's just so very real, and our heroine realizes that. People die. Casualties happen.
Another great thing about this story, is the fantasy element itself. Not only is it set in a world that is so different from our own, but I love the concept of magic and religion co-existing with each. The Godstone is both a religious and magical item in this book, and I love it. I love how Elisa learns to cope with these great powers, and still remain religious, which is quite strange.
Rae Carson won me over completely in her story. It was beautifully written, funny, heartbreaking, and overall, just a brilliant story. I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who loves the fantasy genre as much as I do. I can't wait to read the second book!
4.5 stars out of 5