Listen, man. You need to check this book out. I know I say that about stuff all the time, but this time I really mean it. I mean, the thing earned an A on my Legit-o-Meter so it must be at least decent, right? (the Legit-o-Meter is a thing I made up just now, FYI)
Let me drop the knowledge bombs on you about why this book was so dope.
A lot of books will draw me in slow, you know? They give me a little bit at first just to pique my interest, and then reel me in for the long haul. The Dark Tower series was like that; ditto on the Uglies.
Not so with this book. Fire and Thorns snatched me from the first few pages and kept me hooked until the end. Darn thing even drove me to the internets afterwards, looking for a sequel.
I credit the book’s ability to hook the reader, or Hookage Factor (I was going to say “Hooking Factor” here I thought it might convey the wrong meaning), to Carson’s talent with pacing. She is a straight-up pro when it comes to revealing details in just the right way. The opening scene is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. We’re dropped into the life of Elisa, this spoiled–but kind–princess who is right in the middle of stuffing herself into her wedding dress. The poor girl, bless her heart, has got a tendency to pack pastries in her mouth at the tiniest twinge of emotional discomfort. A character like that could be totally easy to hate on, but Carson paints her as a sweet enough soul that I really liked her from the get-go. Next thing you know the wedding is on like BAM! You go from barely meeting this girl to feeling for her as she’s married off to some foreign king she’s never even met. The thing is, it feels legit because Carson doesn’t waste words. She reveals the story at the perfect pace so that you know just enough to make you want to keep going.
After the wedding Elisa and her new beau, King Alejandro de Vega of Joya d’Arena, bounce out of her father’s realm and head back to Chez Alejandro. The journey takes a few days (traveling by horseback is so slooooow) but Carson makes a week-long journey feel super fun to read. In the middle of the journey, the King’s caravan gets ambushed by this savage horde that’s all shooting arrows and being like, “Watch out, bros. We’re totally savage killers!” Elisa is wicked scared through the whole attack, but despite being a total chicken she saves one of her handmaids AND kills one of the savages as the dude is about to murk her new man. This scene was totally rad to see because you got a real image of the sort of person Elisa is as opposed to who she thinks she is, know what I mean?
I’m going to stop here because I really want you to check this book out and I don’t want to ruin it for you. This book is rich with characters and settings that are so well written that you can’t really get them unless you read the book. I know that might seem like a bunch of hooey, but just take me at my word when I’m like, “Dude, bro, brah…you need to read this.” I promise you won’t regret it.
[that hawt pic is from here]