The Crown of Embers Rae Carson
So, The Girl of Fire and Thorns didn't really need a sequel, but I'm glad there was one, because I love Elisa and I love this world that Carson has built.
Everything I loved about the first book is amplified in the second--the fact that the world is vaguely Central/South American instead of vaguely European. The way she has a love triangle without having a love triangle (Being torn between two hot guys who both want you gets old. Being torn between your heart and duty? I will never tire of that.) I love the politics and how Elisa is still struggling. She's better at playing the game than she was, but she hasn't mastered it yet. I love the role religion play-- how it affects the politics, the varying interpretations, the HUGE role it plays in Elisa's life.
I love how everything just becomes that much more complicated.
Yes, Elisa won the war, but her country is in tatters and her treasury is depleted. Inverieno spies and assassins lurk around every corner. Because she let the Eastern Holdings split off, the Southern Holdings want to as well. Taxes must be raised to refinance the rebuilding, but until the country is rebuilt, the people are too poor to pay more in taxes. Riots keep breaking out in Brisadulce.
The Quorom keeps pushing Elisa to marry, for she is still a child and not a strong enough leader to be queen at this trying land. And Ximena has written to Alodia suggesting that Alodia marry Hector.
But there's a passage in the Apocrypha that suggests that a metaphorical gate might be real, and it might hold the key to Elisa's problems...
Sadly, as much as Carson twists the conventions of the genre, she still goes with a second-book-in-a-trilogy Empire Strikes Back cliffhanger ending.
Ah well, it's totally worth it. Can't wait until the next one!
Book Provided by... my local library
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