Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorn Stories by Rae Carson
Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns Stories by Rae Carson
Release date: August 26th, 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow (Harper)
Series: Yes, #0.5-0.7 in the Fire and Thorns series
Length: 288 pages
Rating: HECTORRRR!!! And some other people.
A paperback edition of three novellas set within the world of the New York Times bestselling Girl of Fire and Thorns series, previously available only digitally: The Shadow Cats, The Shattered Mountain, and The King’s Guard.
The Shadow Cats is told from the perspective of Elisa’s older sister. Discover how their sibling rivalry looks from Alodia’s viewpoint, and find out why Alodia agrees to marry her sister off to King Alejandro of Joya de Arena.
The Shattered Mountain revolves around Elisa’s best friend and handmaiden, Mara. Before she meets Elisa at the rebel camp in The Girl of Fire and Thorns, she suffers her own tragedy. Her village is destroyed and she must lead the few young survivors to safety.
The King’s Guard centers on Hector, Commander of the Royal Guard and Elisa’s true love. Set years before The Girl of Fire and Thorns, it shows us fifteen-year-old Hector as a new recruit. He must prove himself—and he discovers a secret he must keep forever.
My reviews of The Girl of Fire and Thorns | The Crown of Embers | The Bitter Kingdom
This little bind-up of three novellas set in the same world as Rae Carson's The Girl of Fire and Thorns is short and sweet, so that's how this is going to be. I love this fantasy series so much, and although these novellas didn't quite satisfy the hole left behind by that series closure (seriously why can't we have a novella of Hector and Elis TOGETHER PLEASE), there's no doubt that Carson is a total fantasy master. Oh, and I do think these novellas are best read AFTER reading the rest of the series. I think they'll mean more, and if you read these first, you'll be confused about the worldbuilding, since I think Carson is operating under the assumption that the reader has as least read The Girl of Fire and Thorns first.
Let's break it down by novella:
The Shadow Cats: This was my favorite of the novellas, told from thepoint of view of Elisa's elder sister, Crown Princess Alodia. There's a mystery that sets up the shenanigans to come in the series, and you get to see what Elisa was like before she was sent away to marry King Alejandro. Best of all, you get to really know Alodia, who is cunning, slightly cold, and very focused on her duty as a crown princess. She wants to be a better sister to Elisa, whom she doesn't quite understand, but she also wants to be a great and fair ruler. I liked being in her head and watching her analyse the world around her. Plus, Elisa! I love that girl.
The Shattered Mountain: I'm going to be real: Mara, Elisa's friend/lady in waiting/I don't really know what she is was not my favorite character in TGoFaT (still my favorite acronym), only because I find her pretty flat. For some reason her personality still does not jump out at me, but omg the plot of this one is SO COMPELLING. This story, unlike the other two which are in first person, is told in third person present, which is a bit distancing but also... MAN, THIS STORY IS SO INTENSE. There is death and violence and abuse and disease and heartbreak and oh man. I was riveted by the story of what happens to Mara before she makes it to the rebel camp and meets Elisa. Harrowing stuff.
The King's Guard: BABY HECTOR. okay, not baby, but fresh-faced fifteen-year-old Hector just melts my HEARTTTTT. Of course I would have preferred grown up Hector with Elisa, but I will take Hector any way I can get him. Hector is dealing with tons of stuff: mysteries and plots and his new role as an initiate in the King's Guard and his friendship with young King Alejandro, but obviously Hector is flawless and basically Hector Hector Hector. 'Nuff said.
Not this Hector though the feelings are CORRECT
No not that Hector either but that is the only acceptable way to say the name HECTORRRRR