Author: Rae Carson
Publication: Greenwillow Books (September 20, 2011)
Description: Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one.
But she is also the younger of two princesses. The one who has never done anything remarkable, and can’t see how she ever will.
Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs her to be the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.
And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies, seething with dark magic, are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior, and he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.
Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.
Most of the chosen do.
My Thoughts: This was a very nice story. Elisa is the ignored younger princess who eats to ease the pain inside. She is fat. She is convinced that her older sister hates her. And she knows that her father ignores her. But she is the one who has the godstone in her navel. She is the one who is supposed to perform some sort of Service. Her only friends are her nurse, her maid, and her tutor. She is an excellent student of the sacred texts and has a very strong faith in God.
When the story begins she is preparing for her sudden marriage to King Alejandro. She finds him beautiful and he is kind to her but he is also rather indifferent to her. She doesn't know why she is being married and is afraid to ask. When they arrive at his home, after facing bandits in the jungle on the way and her saving Alejandro's life, he keeps their marriage secret. She finds that he is an indecisive king and not really getting ready for the enemy that threatens his country and hers.
She is soon kidnapped and taken across the desert to the borders of the country where the war has already begun. She develops a purpose. Her education has taught her skills that might help the ragtag bunch of survivors harass the enemy. She starts them on a series of guerrilla attacks on the overwhelming large army that is poised to overrun the country. There are magicians in that army that also command godstones and use them for sorcery. This causes a crisis of faith for her as she tries to determine a way to help her country. She is constantly looking for her purpose. She does things that she never believed she could do.
Elisa grows and changes so much through this story. Her struggles, defeats and triumphs are well chronicled. She is a fascinating character. It was wonderful watching her grow into herself in this story. I recommend it to young fantasy lovers.
I went to the priest seeking an advantage, something that would help me play the game of power here in Joya d'Arena and make me significant to Alejandro. Instead, my path is more shadowy than ever.I got this one for review at NetGalley. You can get your copy here.
Like a pig to the slaughter.
Now, it would be enough simply to survive.