Title: The Crown of Embers (Goodreads)
Series: Fire and Thorns #2
Genre: ya fiction, high-fantasy
Published by: Greenwillow Books in September 2012
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.
I have to say I’m impressed with this book. It seems the series is only getting better and I’m very happy about that. I liked The Girl of Fire and Thorns but there were some aspects that I didn’t like. The Crown of Embers is much, much better. Let me explain why.
I feel like there was more action in this book. You’re literally thrown into it from the beginning until the very end. The Crown of Embers is a very past-paced book with a lot of twists and turns when it comes to the plot. I loved how you could never know what was about to happen next. This book also focuses more on political intrigue than the previous one, which is to be expected since Elisa is now the queen.
In my review of the previous book I mentioned that certain events were pretty anti-climactic. You were hoping there would be something major happening but it didn’t. I only had this feeling once with this second installment. It’s not even that anti-climactic but I felt like the climax of this book was over too fast. I also thought a certain someone would turn out be someone entirely else or have a personal agenda yet we got a weaker version of that. It was all just a little too easy and it made me expect more. Of course that didn’t come. Is this just me? Anyway I’ll stop using the word ‘climax’ now.
There is, again, character development when it comes to Elisa. I love it. At the end of the first book I thought she couldn’t possible get any better than that but she can! In the beginning of this book she’s not exactly confident and she questions her ability to rule. Toward the end she becomes determined to be the queen her people need her to be. I’m very excited to see where this is going. I’m sure she’ll be an even bigger bad-ass in the next book.
I can happily announce that this book does end with a sort of cliff-hanger. Unlike the first book that ended without anything to look forward to. If you have read the first book but didn’t feel encouraged to pick up the second: I strongly recommend you do. Oh and just to be safe: get the third book as well because you will crave it like no other when you’re finished with The Crown of Embers!