The Girl of Fire and Thorns - Rae Carson One of the most amazing YA fantasy novels I have ever read. Carson busts out of the debut gate guns a’blazin’. Elisa is incredibly relatable for the teenage sect because instead of being perfect always, she is in fact perfectly flawed. She is the black sheep of her family. She will never rule, be as pretty as, as smart as, or as cunning as her sister. Elisa is heartbreakingly aware of her flaws and seeks to be a better princess for her realm. This same need to perfect her imperfections leads her to be a good princess and marry a mysterious stranger, she hopes this stranger is ugly because then she won’t have to love him, and if she doesn’t love him it will not hurt her when he finds it impossible to love her back.

Elisa is one of the chosen, she bears the god stone which means she is destined to fulfill a great act on behalf of her god. Elisa knows nothing of the history of the god stone and as she sets off with her husband to her new land that she will rule as queen she begins to learn more about the strange cold stone lodged in her belly button and her destiny as the chosen.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns is a no holds barred fantasy. Things are not easy and there is a lot of soul searching to be done. Is her religion the right one or could the army she is facing and trying to destroy doing god’s will?

The world building is fantastical, the side characters fully fleshed out with immense personality and the plot is beautifully woven in and out of intricate sub plot patterns all the way to the conclusion, and yes there is a real conclusion. I am head over hills in love with this book and I cannot wait for the sequel entitled Crown of Embers coming in October 2012 (way before the mayan calendar ends).