Series review | Rae Carson – Fire and thorns.

I have reviewed the first two books before, which you can find here: Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns and Review: The Crown of Embers. I also reviewed the novella in this series: Review The Shadow Cats. That novella is now part of a published book called The Girl of Fire and Thorns short stories. This book includes a story about Elisa's sister, A HECTOR story and one about Mara. I recommend it if you are firm fan of the series, but it is not necessarily for the overall story.

Before I finished the series with the conclusion, The Bitter Kingdom, I reread the first two books. Since this is one of my favorite series, I thought it might be a good idea to highlight it by doing a series review.

This review is spoiler-free! I will only point out all the things I love, without going into details.

The first thing what makes this series so good is the magical writing-style from Carson. It reads so fast and it always makes you want to read more, more, more! She uses enough details to create a wonderful world and interesting characters without information-dumps. I was completely sucked into the story and I had no problems imagining I was there. The pacing is very nice. It’s consistent and there is never a boring moment in this fantastic plot.

The second thing is the emotional rollercoaster. This book takes you from happiness down to the bottom of disaster. I’ve laughed and cried together with Elisa and her friends. I’ve felt triumph and sadness. I felt so connected to the characters and their faith, that I was able to feel all their emotions. It’s one hell of a ride! Be prepared for all the feelings, because there are heart-breaking scenes and moments with a lot of action and tension. There are also touches of romance that made me swoon.

The third thing I want to mention are the characters. We see Elisa develop from someone who isn’t happy with herself to someone who embraces her personality and power. She transforms from the over-weighed, shy girl into a leader with clever decision. I absolutely love Elisa. The only thing that could have been improved is that I would have loved to see her self-image change, instead of her weight. Despite that, I found Elisa strong in her own way and intelligent. Her flaws are her strength and it’s not strange that people are willing to die for her.

No review is complete without mentioning Hector and Humberto. I’m not going to say anything more about them, but you definitely want to meet these guys! There are also more secondary characters, all with distinctive voices and roles. I especially liked Mara, Tristan and Storm. Storm is sarcastic and never afraid to speak his minds, which ends up with blunt and harsh (but honest) words.

The last thing, and that is always important for me, the quality of the story is amazing. There is a build-up in the first two books and it explodes and delivers in the last book. The plot continues to be interesting in every book; there is no second-book-syndrome. It also ends like I wish all books/series ends: everything tied together, satisfying. No anti-climax or disappointing conclusion here!

If you love High-fantasy, strong and interesting characters and a fantastic plot, this is a series you have to read!


  1. I couldn't agree more with you! I love the first two books (still waiting on a German translation for the last one). And Hector. Because Hector is awesome.
    Although I can see why this series isn't for everyone because in the beginning it's a little bit slow and the religious stuff may be too much for some readers. I don't mind either one. The only complain I have is that these books always make me hungry.

  2. I absolutely love this series! To me, it's the characters that really made these books favorites for me. I loved getting to know each and every one of them, and see them grappling with the different choices they have to make!

  3. This is a great series review -- I wish more people got to experience the awesomeness that is the Fire & Thorns series. I think the covers + premise might turn some people off, which is really too bad!

  4. This series comes highly recommended to me - not just by you but by a bunch of my most-trusted blogger friends! I own the first book and I'm planning on getting into the series ASAP! It's a crime that I haven't gotten into it yet really but your series review here proves exactly just home much I'm missing. GREAT review^^ ♥

  5. Ohhhh I love how the heroine is overweight because we don't see that much in fantasy. It definitely sounds like a great series that builds up as you read it! Wonderful review Mel!

  6. I have always seen this book around, but never really known what it was about. I am always on the look out for finished series, because we all know waiting for the next installment is its own kind of torture, right?

    I really like the sound of a lot of things you mentioned in this review! I love getting behind characters, and feeling what they're feeling.

    Although it's a bit disappointing that the main character lost weight to feel great about herself. Weight =/= self worth.

    I'll definitely have to take a look at this series!

    Lovely review <3

  7. :D:D Couldn't agree more! I absolutely loved Elisa's transformation throughout the series. Definitely a rollercoaster of emotions, but a great adventure that never let up!

  8. This would be a great series to reread! I didn't love the first book but I loved the second and third a lot; the characters are wonderful and the stakes are so high! And Hector :D

  9. This. Series. THIS SERIES. I can't handle my love of these books! I just listened to the audio of The Girl of Fire & Thorns, and was kind of afraid it wouldn't be as wonderful... But it was! I also recommended it to my best friend--who was also obsessed. The only defense for the weight loss I have is that it's explicitly mentioned that she's not skinny, just loses a lot of her plumpness, but I'm still with you in that it'd be better not to be tied to her newfound self esteem.

  10. This series is one of my all-time favourite series. It is so good in many ways! I agree with all of your points, this series takes you on an emotional journey where you experience all of the things Elise goes through. I love her character development and I love seeing her get through the heart break she endures multiple times. I love seeing her confidence grow within herself, herself as queen and making decisions.

    This whole series is so magical. I really need to re-read it, and I never re-read stories. But this one is one I loved so much.

    Jordon @ Simply Adrift

  11. Yay :D Gorgeous review Mel. <3 So glad you loved this final book :) Ahh. I need to re-read all of these books soon. I did love them all too :D But been so long since I read them o.O So glad you love these books. <3


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