Book ReviewThe Crown of Embers

Reviewer's Rating: 
I don't need my money back but I'm willing to prop a door open with this one.
Greenwillow Books, 2012

Elisa is a hero. She led her people to victory over a terrifying, sorcerous army. Her place as the country's ruler should be secure. But it isn't.

Her enemies come at her like ghosts in a dream, from both foreign realms and within her own court. And her destiny as the chosen one has not yet been fulfilled.

To conquer the power she bears once and for all, Elisa must follow the trail of long-forgotten--and forbidden--clues from the deep, undiscovered catacombs of her own city to the treacherous seas. With her goes a one-eyed spy, a traitor, and the man who--despite everything--she is falling in love with.

If she's lucky, she will return from this journey. But there will be a cost.

I had a few problems with this second installment in the Fire and Thorns series. #1. It read much like a second go-round of exactly what we experienced in book one. Elisa is timid in her role as queen but get her out of town and suddenly she is confident. We saw this in book one when she was kidnapped, in book two she leaves of her own accord. I had been hoping with the end of book one that Elisa was going to be that strong ruler she learned to be in book one, but we regressed and went through the same emotional journey again. Speaking of emotional journey's here's my second problem: in book one, Elisa fell in love but with someone not suited to her queen position. Humberto is gone by the end of book one. Book two, The Crown of Embers, Elisa falls in love with the head of the royal guard who is also not deemed suitable for a queen...hmmm, this sounds very familiar. It felt like I read book one all over again - same song and dance, different setting.

Having said this, I did enjoy the writing style itself. The pace was a bit slow to start, but once she left Joya D'Arena things got interesting again. I've given this book an "okay" rating simply because there was little to no movement forward for our characters. The same hopes I had for Elisa in book two I've readjusted to book three. I'd like to see a strong, confident, in control Queen Elisa.

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