The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
"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 both foreign realms and 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 the trail of long-forgotten--and forbidden--clues from the deep, undiscovered catacombs of her own city to the treacherous seas. With her goes a one-eyed spy, a traitor, and the man who--despite everything--she is falling in love with.
If she's lucky, she will return from this journey. But there will be a cost."- summary from Amazon
You guys, I cannot speak enough praise for this series. It is just so good. I love reading about Elisa's world and following along on her adventures. Carson writes in such a compelling voice that I find myself reading 100 pages at a time and having trouble putting the book down. It's insane how good this book is.
I loved the budding relationship between Hector and Elisa; it's just handled so well and when the sexual tension gets too much, it bursts out in an amazing scene. Gah, I just loved it.
There's some great twists and turns and tons of travel and adventure. I really enjoyed seeing Elisa come more into herself and what she needs to do. It was such a good character arc. Also, I will warn you that the ending really makes you want the next book, so keep that in mind when reading Crown of Embers. I can tell the final book is going to be even better than this one.
Overall, just go buy the book now and if you haven't read The Girl of Fire and Thorns yet, go buy it too!! This is such a wonderfully constructed fantasy series!
and here's a short interview with Rae:
1) How did you get the idea for the Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy?
There were several factors involved, including a bad relationship, a tattoo parlor, and an overindulgence in cookie dough ice cream. But ideas are cheap. I get a dozen a day. The deciding factor for making a go of this particular idea was the freedom I felt after quitting a toxic day job and moving to a new town. The fresh start gave me just the impetus I needed.
2) Aside from the third and final book in the Girl of Fire and Thorns series, what are you currently working on or have coming up?
I just sold a new trilogy to Greenwillow. This one is also fantasy, and it takes place during the California Gold Rush. Pioneers! With magic! I'm so excited to write these books I can't even.
3) What's your favorite Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor?
Strawberry Daiquiri. If you look up "delicious" in the dictionary, it's defined as Strawberry Daiquiri Jelly Bellies.
4) What book(s) are you reading now, or are about to start?
I just started Mike Mullin's ASHEN WINTER, the sequel to his amazing ASHFALL. I also started Justin Cronin's THE TWELVE, the sequel to THE PASSAGE. Both of them are giant doorstops, which is awesome. I like. Big. Books. And I cannot lie.
Check out the rest of the tour!:
9/10 One Page Reviews— This or That
9/11 Pure Imagination— This or That
9/12 Candace's Book Blog— Interview
9/13 Two Chicks on Books— Character Interview, Hector
9/14 Books with Bite— Interview
9/17 Laura's Review Bookshelf— Interview
9/18 Short and Sweet Reviews— Guest Post
9/19 The Non Reluctant Reader— Interview
9/20 Book Chic— Interview
9/21 Good Books and Good Wine— Interview
9/24 Short and Sweet Reviews— BONUS TRACK! Author Interview
FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.