Rae Carson – The Crown of Embers (#2)

Crown of Embers

paperback
publisher: Greenwillow Books
published: 2013
pages: 432

Blurb:

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

My Opinion:

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.

Bottom Line:

A character-driven, political and exiting story with a likeable characters. A great read.

Ratings:

rating 4

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My Reading Month May 2015

May was not necessarily a great reading month, but it was OK. I have read three books and also listened to 3 audiobooks. So, at least I enjoyed six different stories, which is not bad. I really should add my audiobooks to my goodreads challenge. Than I would be ahead of things instead of behind. But let’s get started.

Crown of Embers

Rae Carson – The Crown of Embers

My first read this month was The Crown of Embers, which was the second book in The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy. It was a really enjoyable and fast read, with a likeable yet occasionally short-sighted protagonist, loveable side characters, a lovely word creation and a lot of action right from the start. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Katharina M. Mylius – Bloody Rosemary: Ein Oxford-Krimi

This cozy crime novel was written by a German author and is set in Oxford. The book is Christie-esque, the characters normal and capable to investigate and have a life, the murder mystery was interesting but not gruesome, and there was a lot of intertextual references to other books from the same publisher. Fun and light read.

Touch of Frost Bloody Rosemary

Jennifer Estep – Touch of Frost

I really thought, I am not into the whole special school for special creatures/being kind of thing and I was wrong. Gwen Frost attends a school where the descendants of many historical and mythical people go to school: Vikings, Valkyries, Amazons, Spartans and many more. She doesn’t fit in with her Gypsy gift, she has no friends and then a girl gets killed and her entire world turns upside down. I enjoyed the setting, the story was fast, and the characters likeable.

Audiobooks:

Maggie Stiefvater – Rot wie das Meer/ The Scorpio Races

I have read The Scorpio Races a while ago and I really enjoyed it. And I also enjoyed the audiobook version of it, too. The story is interesting and fantastic yet real and very character driven. I liked both Sean and Puck, I enjoyed the writing which lulled me and drew me in. Still one of my favorites. Maybe because it is a quiet book.

Andrea Sawatzki – Von Erholung war nie die Rede

The second book by this German author follows the Buntschuh family on their vacation where everything seems to get out of control really fast. Annoying mothers and mother-in-laws, even more annoying brothers and sister-in-laws and an even sometimes annoying main protagonist. This time the point of views vary between different characters. It was good and entertaining.

Maggie Stiefvater – Wen der Rabe ruft/ The Raven Boys

The second book by Maggie Stiefvater that I listened to this month was the Raven Boys. It was good book, following Blue, who can connect to ghosts and stuff, and four boys who are looking for an old dude from Wales. I know I should remember more, but I don’t. It was good and interesting, but apparently not so great that I remember. It also had to do with Gypsy things and a ghost and three very different boys and there was murder involved. Again, it was good.

December/January Book Haul

Since I did not manage to post a haul for December, I decided to combine my December and January hauls. I have accumulated quite a few books over the past two months. But it was Christmas and there was my birthday and then I was stressed and needed some treats 🙂

Sarah J. Maas – Heir of Fire

This is the third book in the trilogy (which is now turned into a series; maybe kinda like Trudi Canavan’s Black Magicians Trilogy which continued with the Traitor Spy Trilogy; I am not sure). I am looking forward to continue and/or finish the trilogy, yet I am reluctant to start. It took me a while to get into the second book and I did not enjoy it as much as the first. I just hope this one is better and has some form of closure.

Rae Carson – The Crown of Embers and The Bitter Kingdom

These are books 2 and 3 in the trilogy, which I have read over a year ago (I think even 1 1/2 years ago). I gifted them to myself for my birthday. I really enjoyed the first book because it was a different to other fantasy series, but I am not sure if I should reread the first one since it’s been a while.

Terry Pratchett – Dodger

I have never read a Pratchett novel. I don’t know why, maybe because I am not sure whether they are a series or just set in the same world without being dependent on each other. They were just to many of them and I was confused. However, I found this one as a bargain and thought I might give it a try.

Renee Holler – Das Geheimnis des Goldenen Salamanders

I stumbled upon this adventure novel for children or maybe young adults, which is set in England in the 1670s (I think). It is a historical adventure story and I am currently in the mood for either reading or listening to them. They are primarily fun and exiting without the whole teenage angst all the time. I hope this one will not disappoint.

Walter Moers – Das Labyrinth der Träumenden Bücher

Like Pratchett an author that is widely famous in Germany and I have not yet read a book. I found this in a bargain bin because it had a few scratches, but I had to give it a new home. It is a later book in the series and again I am not sure whether I need to read the others before in order to understand or if they are somewhat stand alone only set in the same world. But I will figure that out.

december 2015 haul

Wolfram Hänel – Ein Fall für die Weihnachtsdetektive

I could not walk past this book: a Christmas story told in 24 chapters and of course a crime story for children. It is illustrated and in order to get to each chapter, I have to separate the pages. They are “stuck” together and I have to open each chapter. The book is also illustrated and the writing is in red. I just really like the design.

Marliese Arold – Dem Pharao Versprochen

I have read some books by this author and enjoyed her writing and her stories. This is set in Egypt (I like) and tells the story of a young woman who has to marry the Pharaoh but likes someone else. Sounds a little mushy, but there are times when one really is in the mood for mush.

Vicky Alvear Shecter – Mondmädchen/ Cleopatra’s Moon

Another book set in Egypt about Cleopatra’s daughter. Well, I really like the old myths and stories about Egypt, so I took it home.

Andreas H. Schmachtl – Hieronymus Frosch: Das hat die Welt noch nicht gesehen

I have read and some and own quite a few books by the author and I love them. The stories are cute and entertaining. Great for reading to your kids and short as well. The illustrations are wonderful and since this book is about an inventor frog, the writing is in green and some of the illustrations are also in green, while others are in color.

Patrick Carman – Strengstens Verboten: Willkommen im Hotel Whippet/ Floors

Another kids book which sounded quirky and fun. The Whippet is a hotel in which Leo lives with his dad, who is the maintenance man. He stumbles into an adventure when he discovers boxes that lead him to hidden floors, strange puzzles and ducks. Sounds good and fun, so I took it with me.

Nina Balzon – Lagua: Der Fluch der Schwarzen Gondel

I listened to a time travel novel set in Venice when I came across this book also set in Venice. This book seems to also have a supernatural touch. A coursed gondola, two warring families, and four kids who try to discover the truth. Sounds like a good adventure story.

Josephine Angelini – Goddess

The final book in the Starcrossed Trilogy. I really enjoyed the first two books. They were entertaining and easy to read. I really like to know how that whole situation unfolds and concludes. I looking forward to meeting old friends.