This is not an objective review, AT ALL. The Girl of Fire and Thorns
reminded me a lot of the YA Christian romance/fantasy books I read as a younger teen -- but better. Being SO IMPATIENT to get to something as racy as a kiss? Ridiculous, but I loved it the way I love grilled cheese and old musicals, and I was glued to it until I finished.
There was a lot of God in there, because the heroine, Elisa, is the bearer of a Godstone, which warms when Elisa prays, etc.; some might find that off-putting. I didn't mind it.
The other thing that I think stands out here is that Elisa is fat, which is unusual enough to be noted by EVERY SINGLE REVIEWER EVER. No, I'm exaggerating, but it is mentioned quite a lot in the book. At first I was thrown off by the wow, now that Elisa's been KIDNAPPED, she's lost that pesky weight and enjoys being naked and she's a much better person and also she's super hot! turn-around, but the physical part of that seems plausible, and after reading an interview with Carson in the back of my paperback, I was mostly appeased.
I have a hard time pointing out specific things I loved about Fire and Thorns
, but I really enjoyed it. I found Elisa likeable and liked so many of the other characters in the book, the plot moved at a nice pace -- a little rushed at the end, with some strange gaps in Elisa's formerly whip-smart cleverness, but this is the sort of problem I bump against often in trilogy-starters -- and Carson's writing is great. Lots of descriptions of food, as Elisa tends to eat her feelings, but I didn't mind that at all. Anyway, whatever flaws I DID find in this novel weren't enough to stop me from starting the second book in the trilogy later that night.