The Crown of Embers – Fire and Thorns #2 – Rae Carson

How unlucky in love can you be? Lucero-Elisa lost her husband and the man she loved in the last book.

She was the second born princess in her father’s kingdom so she was married off at the age of sixteen to King Alejandro of the not-so-near country of Joya d’Arena. He was handsome and kind but they never consummated the marriage because Alejandro had a mistress whom he was in love with. Oh, and he forgot to tell anyone in his country that he got married. Apparently, he married her because her father and sister needed to get her safely out of the country because she is the bearer of the Godstone and they agreed to send troops to Joya d’Arena to help Alejandro with his upcoming war with Invierne. One every hundred years someone is chosen by God to Bear the Godstone which is embedded into the stomach just below the skin. Each bearer has some kind of unknown destiny to fulfill. Some succeed and some don’t.

Her Godstone makes her a target of Invierne spies who seek to either kill her and take her stone or use her to win their war.

She was kidnapped by a maid named Cosmé who turned out to be a spy but not for Invierne but for the hill people of Basajuan, an ignored territory on the border of Invierne where it’s people are getting massacred by the fire-throwing magic wielders of Invierne called Animagi. Cosmé and her people believe Elisa’s destiny is to use her stone to somehow defeat the Animagi. Elisa decides to help them and fell in love with Cosmé’s brother Humberto who ended up getting killed in front of Elisa.

Fast forward to Elisa returning to Joya d’Arena only to have Invierne invade. Alejandro jumped in front of an Animagi when he flung his magic fire at Elisa. Elisa was finally able to tap into the power of her Godstone which turned all of the Animagi who invaded the city into dust but Alejandro died a few weeks later of his injuries. He signed a decree making her his heir which made her the queen.

In this book, Elisa is the queen over a broken kingdom. Her advisors are all working their own agendas and some are even working sneakily against her so she doesn’t know who to trust. She only has a few people she trusts: Ximena and Mara her two attendants, Father Nicandro, Father Alentin and the Captain of her royal guard, Hector.

She develops feeling for Hector who has been there for her since the first day she moved to Joya d’Arena. I just kept wondering when Hector was going to get the axe.

This book is another wild and scary adventure. A few interesting characters were introduced in this book but I don’t want to spoil too much for anyone who wants to read this trilogy so I won’t get into any of them here.

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