publisher: Greenwillow Books
She does not know what awaits her at the enemy’s gate.
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 foreign realms and even from 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 a trial of long-forgotten—and forbidden—clues, from the deep, hidden catacombs of her own city to the treacherous seas. With her go a one-eyed spy, a traitor, and the man whom—despite everything—she is falling in love with.
If she’s lucky, she will return from this journey. But there will be a cost. (Goodreads)
In (Very) Short:
+ second installment in the trilogy
+ character-driven, fast-paced plot
+ politics and conspiracies en mass
The Crown of Ember is the second installment in the Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy written by Rae Carson. So be aware of SPOILERS!!!
Elisa is the new queen after defeating her enemies in the first book, but soon enough trouble arises again. There are attempts on her life, enemies within her own court, who lust for power, enemies from outside, who want her dead or alive, and then there is her destiny. The one she has not fulfilled yet.
The story was much more character-driven than the last one, which was more of an adventure story. The books driving force are the politics, conspiracies, and threats that come form outside as much as from the inside of her court. Elisa is confronted with being a queen while her advisers and supporters might have other plans or at least plan and make choices for her which do not regard her feelings or well-being.
I was a little annoyed with Elisa at times, because she seemed so blind towards all the problems, while I saw them coming from a mile away. But just as in the previous book, the main character grew with the challenges and opposition. It took her a little long, but she managed.
The story was still fast and thrilling in spite of or because of the character-driven nature of the plot. The world-building was great and found my way back quite quickly and I thoroughly enjoyed the political and conspiracy aspect.
I did not mind the love relationship either though it tested my patience occasionally, but I knew it was coming since the end of the first book. And I am relieved Elisa finally stood up to Ximena. That woman was annoying. And the cliffhanger was less cliffhanger-y as I thought it was going to be. I liked the ending. There was more resolution than I thought and still a good start for the next book, although I am not sure what the main issues will be this time.
A character-driven, political and exiting story with a likeable characters. A great read.