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Format: Hardcover, 423 pages
Release Date: September 20, 2011
Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one.As typical of most epic fantasy, Elisa, the protagonist, has a monumental destiny to fulfill. The problem? She has no idea where to start.
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.
At the beginning of the novel, Elisa is acutely and painfully aware of her 'weaknesses.' But as the story carries on and she is tested in ways she never could have imagined, she rises to the challenge marvellously and comes to see her strengths as well. I loved the personal development in Elisa more than anything else in this book. I have so much respect for Elisa's growth into the strong, confident woman she was too scared to let herself become. The fact that her strong points come in the form of her wisdom and knowledge and that she actually gets to use that to turn the tide in a war was refreshing to read.
Religion is definitely a part of this book but I think you'd be doing yourself a disservice to turn away because that makes you feel wary. The theme is handled with care and expertly intertwined with the rest of the plot. I really appreciated reading Elisa begin to question things she never had before and start to form her own opinions regarding her faith.
It's a testament to Rae Carson's writing that this novel could pull me in so many settings and directions (that I devoured in half a day, no less) and still never feel disjointed or rushed. I hope that the next book delves into further detail about the magic and the Godstones because while I'm satisfied with what I was given, I want more more more!
Despite going into this book with huge spoilers (spoiler. alerts. please.), I really really enjoyed it! And thank goodness I don't have to wait at all for the next one.
4.5 Golden Crowns!
Cover Comments: I don't have any real love for this cover but considering the change that was made in regards to it... two thumbs way up.