The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson is the sequel to The Girl of Fire and Thorns, and picks up soon after where that book left off. Therefore, this review will probably contain some spoilers for The Girl of Fire and Thorns -- you've been warned.
is now a queen and a hero, and somebody out there wants her dead. While
she is beloved by most of her people, she's still young, foreign,
female, and inexperienced, and she's still feeling her way as she tries
to balance power with kindness. Also, there's a hired assassin
attempting to take her out. When Elisa learns of a strong source of
magic -- one that she, as bearer of the Godstone, is uniquely able to
access, she sets out on a quest. She's accompanied by a small party, not
all of whom can be trusted. Elisa is falling in love with one of her
companions, but she is once again faced with the need to make a
politically advantageous marriage. Will Elisa ever be able to follow her
heart? Will she even live long enough to do so?
This second book
has all of the character development and complexity that made the first
book so wonderful, along with a heightened sense of adventure and a bit
more romance. It's hard for me to love the second book in a series
quite as much as I loved the first book, especially when the first book
completely knocked my socks off, but Crown of Embers is a worthy successor to The Girl of Fire and Thorns, and I'm very much looking forward to the next book in the series.
(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)