Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one.
But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.
Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.
And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.
Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.
Most of the chosen do.
Okay, so the ‘chosen’ isn’t so great in this book. What really stuck me in this story, despite the fact that it seems like Rae Carson doesn’t know how to write thoughtful, interesting first person narrations, was the heroine. I hated Elisa and the way Rae Carson kind of tied a rope around my neck and dragged me around with this book. She led me to believe one thing and then the next. It’s completely different if the author says something, but then you envision the character a different way in your mind. No, this was in the story, folks.
First of all, you know that feeling when you think something’s happening or you’re just going along minding your own business and then, out of the blue, something happens that makes NO sense? And it’s so annoying, and then it’s getting out of control, and then finally you just get mad so you thrash around a bit and stuff? That’s exactly what happened with this book! The first two pages made sense, and then out of the blue all of this came around and it was getting worse and worse so I eventually just freaked out. I imagine that King Kong was just getting his reception and then all these planes came around. My sincere apologies to King Kong for misjudging you. We’re in the same boat, dude. You’re taking up too much space.
Second of all, Elisa says she is fat and likes to eat. She feels constantly out shined by her prettier, skinnier sister. She clearly uses the words big, bloated sausage to describe herself.
Does that, in ANY way, shape or form look like a big, bloated sausage? I think not.
Third of all, Rae Carson seems to be unfamiliar with the show, not tell idea. Almost nothing in this story seems to be described by dialog or actions, which is extremely frustrating. Rick Riordan and Suzanne Collins are pros at using show, not tell. Their actions and the conflict they write is beautifully written, masterfully told. This is more than just a little less than their level.
Regarding the half of the book that isn’t about food or Elisa’s love/hate relationship with it, this book is basically Elisa walking from one section of the story to the next. As described in my page Character Development, (https://rea1itylapse.wordpress.com/character-development/) there is crisis and then there’s conflict. Conflict is long standing. It shows the reader the true character of the well, character, by putting them through a situation that will effectively and mercilessly tear them apart until they make the decision and a lot of times long after they make the decision. Conflict is an argument, a battle with yourself or others, the choice to save one person but not another. Crisis is simply an emergency, a bad situation. It’s easier for beginning authors to write crisis, but not conflict. Conflict is one of the best ways to show the reader about your character. Crisis is a good way to solve a problem. Rae Carson excels at writing crisis. I can’t say the same for conflict.
This wasn’t a book about religion and God. It was a badly-put-together story about someone who has a god. Rae Carson pretty much scrapped all these different things you do in a religion and put them together to make…this. Not only that, but there’s not much of a plot. Inside the plot that there is, there’s a TON of plot holes that drove me absolutely insane. The magic in this story you can hardly call magic. It’s incredibly underdeveloped to the point of exhaustion.
The story only works because Rae Carson wanted it to. She throws around people and and schemes and the story like it’s some toy. Stories are not toys. It’s like throwing Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night or Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and trampling on it and then throwing it into a river. Stories are artworks. Masterpieces. Not to be messed with. I hate authors who mess around with their characters. They throw away lives like they’re worth nothing.
One star. I really wish that this book could’ve been written by somebody else because, to be honest, I was pretty interested in the synopsis. I’ve had a lot of stories like that, where I was just bitterly disappointed in a book where the synopsis was so interesting. Below are two books I would rather recommend then this one. Hope you enjoy those! They were both really good, four star books.
The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
I’m not usually a fan of book clubs, particularly because when I read a book, I finish it in a day while every one else in the book club finishes it in two months. But one of the clubs who invited me to join gave me a list that they liked, so I gave it a try. A lot of the books I liked, some of them I didn’t. Here’s one of the most recent ones that I really liked. Keep in mind that the Queen of Attolia is the second book in this series. It’s amazing by itself, and I didn’t even know there was a series, so it’s a good stand-alone, but I liked it so much I think I’m going to read the rest of the series.
Synopsis: hen Eugenides, the Thief of Eddis, stole Hamiathes’s Gift, the Queen of Attolia lost more than a mythical relic. She lost face. Everyone knew that Eudenides had outwitted and escaped her. To restore her reputation and reassert her power, the Queen of Attolia will go to any length and accept any help that is offered…she will risk her country to execute the perfect revenge.
Eugenides can steal anything. And he taunts the Queen of Attolia, moving through her strongholds seemingly at will. So Attolia waits, secure in the knowledge that the Thief will slip, that he will haunt her palace one too many times.
…at what price?
When Eugenides finds his small mountain country at war with Attolia, he must steal a man, he must steal a queen, he must steal peace. But his greatest triumph–and his greatest loss–comes in capturing something that the Queen of Attolia thought she had sacrificed long ago…
pg count for the ebook: 368
Series: The Queen’s Thief
The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
A Newbery honor book that I really loved, with strong characters and a great adventure plot line.
Synopsis: Harry Crewe is an orphan girl who comes to live in Damar, the desert country shared by the Homelanders and the secretive, magical Free Hillfolk. When Corlath, the Hillfolk King, sees her for the first time, he is shaken — for he can tell that she is something more than she appears to be. He will soon realize what Harry has never guessed: she is to become Harimad-sol, King’s Rider, and carry the Blue Sword, Gonturan, which no woman has wielded since the legendary Lady Aerin bore it into battle, generations past.
pg count for the paperback: 272