[September 20, 2011]
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.
Elisa may be one of my favorite main characters. While she does have this gift, she doesn't know how to use it so it's not as important in the first half or so of the book. That first half is about Elisa and her changing and growing, physically, mentally, emotionally. Once she'd gotten a better sense of herself and the strength she had, then she started exploring the powers she had and I really liked how that was handled.
The setting in this world was rich and descriptive and vibrant. I could see it all in my head. Rae Carson just crafts a fantastic world that I want to frolic in and explore more. I also wish there was a map just to enhance it a little more (maybe there is and I'm just forgetting, care to enlighten me?). It's a world I hope can be explored in future books.
Rae's writing is just so lush and beautiful I wanted to drown in it. This is no short book, and yet I still read it within a 48 hour period. I wandered with Elisa and loved who Elisa loved and felt heartbreak when she felt heartbreak. This book manipulated my emotions and played with my heart. I wasn't just reading this book; I was experience the story. I was Elisa. The ability to do that is rare and wonderful.
Even the one complaint I have with this book that I can't tell you because it's a spoiler...I understand why it had to happen. I've come to terms with it. Someday, I'll move on.
Just, please, get this book for someone this holiday season. Whether it's you or a friend or your dog, more people need to pick up this fantastic book.