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4 Stars: The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson is the second book in the Fire and Thorns trilogy, so there are likely to be spoilers for Girl of Fire and Thorns. I feel the need to preface this review with the fact that I read Crown of Embers will traveling, i.e. in hotels and riding in cars. This means that I was frequently distracted by conversations around me, music playing, and babies crying. I’m a bit worried that this kept me from being pulled in as much as many other people were, but I tend to think that if a book is going to really engross me, it will manage even if sometimes I’m getting distracted from it. I actually found myself having difficulty deciding on any opinion right after I finished it, which is a bit odd for my very opinionated brain, haha. But, just wanted to warn you in case you are unhappy that I didn’t think Crown of Embers was quite a 5 star book for me ;).

4 Stars: The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson (Fire and Thorns #2)
Published by Greenwillow on September 18th, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 410 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
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Elisa is the hero of her country. She led her people to victory against a terrifying enemy, and now she is their queen. But she is only seventeen years old. Her rivals may have simply retreated, choosing stealth over battle. And no one within her court trusts her-except Hector, the commander of the royal guard, and her companions. As the country begins to crumble beneath her and her enemies emerge from the shadows, Elisa will take another journey. With a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with, Elisa crosses the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone's power. That is not all she finds. --Goodreads

4 Stars


  • I very much enjoyed the increased exploration of magic and lore in Crown of Embers. Elisa is discovering more about her Godstone and the world around her, with some heavy hints that she is still being kept in the dark about somethings. I can’t wait to find out if the third book gives us answers :D.
  • Elisa admittedly grew a lot as a person in Girl of Fire and Thorns in terms of self-acceptance and self-confidence around her body. However, in Crown of Embers she needs to figure out what kind of queen she wants to be and how the people from her past will fit into her future. It’s been an interesting ride so far!
  • I was very happy that Crown of Embers features old friends and new, even though at first it didn’t seem like it would.
  • Crown of Embers succeeded in giving much more depth to certain secondary characters and I quite enjoyed this insight into their lives. I want more!


  •  The ending of Crown of Embers almost worked out too well to my brain. Things felt convenient and part of me was grumbling that it was unrealistic, though I will admit that of course it was unrealistic, magic doesn’t happen in real life >.>. But still, you know what I mean right??
  • I suppose this is along the lines of the above, but now I’m talking about the middle. Despite harrowing circumstances, I didn’t feel enough tension in Crown of Embers. It is tricky to balance the whole “God’s chosen one” with “Omg are they going to make it??” You’d think I’d be satisfied that no one was safe after Girl of Fire and Thorns, but apparently not….


I definitely enjoyed Crown of Embers and am looking forward to reading Bitter Kingdom. However, I found my slight discontent from the first book carried over into the second book. This makes it seem that if you liked the first one, you will like the second one, and if you didn’t, then you won’t. At least the books are consistent right? I’m really hoping for an epic ending in Bitter Kingdom :D.

4 Stars
Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

– Anya


 The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

© 2013 – 2016, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. I’m a bit confused on if I want to read this one. I liked the first but it was not gripping enough to make me feel like I want to read the sequel. I’m glad to hear that there is further growth in Elise’s character. I was a bit annoyed by her lack of self confidence in the first book. Great review :)

    -Mari @ The Sirenic Codex

    • It takes her a little bit, but she definitely comes into her own in awesome ways. I’d say it’s worth it to get through to the third book if nothing else, because that one freaking rocked my world!

  2. I hate to read while being distracted! I prefer to read on my own room for that reason, it haven’t really worked for me to read on airplanes, etc….

    I loved the first book and I’ve always wondered if I’m going to like this. But I think I will since Elisa isn’t the typical female character.

    • I definitely prefer my couch for reading, but when you’re trying to fit it in to any and all downtime, sacrifices must be made ;-) Elisa just keeps getting better, so I think you’ll like the rest of the trilogy!

  3. Hmm, interesting. If you felt some thing were a bit too easy in Crown of Embers, I’m wondering what you’ll think about The Bitter Kingdom. Can’t wait to see your review of that one.

    But for CoE, I definitely agree about all of the character (main and secondary) development that happened in this book. All so good. <3

    • I’m weird when it comes to adventures I think ;-) I love Bitter Kingdom though, so did you think it was easier or harder than CoE??

      • Hmm… I dunno, it felt like some things were harder in TBK, but toward the end things seemed to get a lot easier than I expected. =/

        • Crap, now I’m already having trouble remembering all the events that happened…. I was definitely scared during a certain battle having to do with a wardrobe though D:


  1. […] The Crown of Embers had a bit of second book syndrome for me, but it was still enjoyable. […]

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