The Crown of Embers
by Rae Carson
Series: Fire and Thorns #2
Published: September 18, 2012
Format: eBook (410 pages)
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Elisa is a hero.
Her enemies come at her like ghosts in a dream, from foreign realms and even from 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 a trial of long-forgotten—and forbidden—clues, from the deep, hidden catacombs of her own city to the treacherous seas. With her go a one-eyed spy, a traitor, and the man whom—despite everything—she is falling in love with.
If she's lucky, she will return from this journey. But there will be a cost.
Spoiler free even if you haven’t read the first book in this series.
The Crown of Embers reminded me a lot of Indiana Jones. There was a religious quest, skeletons turning to dust, and hidden artifacts. We get to journey through the ocean this time instead of the desert and it was a lot of fun. This was a great second novel in a series.
In the last book, we saw Elisa grow as a person who gained confidence in herself. Elisa continues to grow as a character but this time it’s about finding the power from within herself. I liked watching her learn that just because she is young, she shouldn’t let people walk all over her or dismiss her. She has to learn one of the biggest lessons we all learn when we grow up – that we have to decide what is best for our own future instead of letting people decide for us.
She has not always wanted what is best for me. She has always wanted what she thinks is best for me. And she has never hesitated to work around me or anyone else to accomplish it.
– Rae Carson, The Crown of Embers (Kindle Locations 4037-4039).
Religion continues as a theme in this book. Elisa is slightly irked when she constantly meets people telling her what “God’s will” is which I found amusing but also very truthful. Religion is part of the clash of the different cultures in the story. How do you end a war that’s been going on forever between cultures that don’t understand each other? I thought that was such a relevant question and I enjoyed the exploration of the answer to that and what part ignorance can play.
I have a theory. I don’t think it’s a spoiler since it’s never answered and it’s left up to your imagination. Elisa’s people were supposedly brought from a dying world into the world where Crown of Embers is set. I couldn’t help but think that maybe the dying world referred to was actually our world. I have one quote to support this theory. The quote sounds very similar to the bible which is what spawned this theory in the first place.
“I swear my life and service unto you. I swear to protect you and to honor you. I am yours to command in all things. For as long as I live, your people shall be my people, your ways my ways, your God my God.”
-Rae Carson, The Crown of Embers (Kindle Locations 3653-3655)
What do you think? Did you have any theories about this book?
Overall, it was a great adventure novel about a girl who learns to find power within herself that I couldn’t put down.
Content Rating: Medium, for a mildly detailed scene of a girl observing herself naked.
This post contains affiliate links and I receive a small percentage of sales made through these links.