When I reviewed The Girl of Fire and Thorns I called it “a Hunger Games for fantasy fans.” Not because it was an arena battle to the death with magic, but because it was an intense, page-turning, emotional adventure with an awesome heroine. And Crown of Embers does not disappoint in the slightest!

In the sequel to the acclaimed The Girl of Fire and Thorns, a seventeen-year-old princess turned war queen faces sorcery, adventure, untold power, and romance as she fulfills her epic destiny.

Elisa is the hero of her country. She led her people to victory against a terrifying enemy, and now she is their queen. But she is only seventeen years old. Her rivals may have simply retreated, choosing stealth over battle. And no one within her court trusts her-except Hector, the commander of the royal guard, and her companions. As the country begins to crumble beneath her and her enemies emerge from the shadows, Elisa will take another journey. With a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with, Elisa crosses the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone’s power. That is not all she finds. A breathtaking, romantic, and dangerous second volume in the Fire and Thorns trilogy.

So, lets skip all the other things and talk about the most important. Hector. I love Hector. I want more Hector. ALL THE HECTOR! Can I have my own Hector? He can live in my YA Boys of Awesome Harem…with Jonah Griggs, Gansey, and Darius Channing. The things we learn about Hector and his family and everything that he has sacrificed and…I just love him, okay? And the ENDING!! I’m so excited for book three. I need to see what has happened with Hector and how he is going to react to certain decisions made by Elisa at the end.

Speaking of Elisa, she continues to be super fabulous. I loved how this book clearly featured her still on a personal journey but it was a different one from Girl of Fire and Thorns. You can tell her confidence in herself is more firm in this one but she still has moments of doubt and confusion and doesn’t always know who to trust or how to shake of the constants of her childhood. I loved all the decisions she made at the end of the story and how she really stood up for what she wanted for herself and for her kingdom. I’m really excited to see where she goes, emotionally, in book three. The journey with her so far has been such an exciting inspiration, I can only imagine the awesome things Rae has for us in the next installment.

I liked everything else in this book so much that I don’t even know what else to say. I don’t have a single complaint besides having to wait for the next one. The characters I didn’t like were the ones I supposed to not like and the pacing was perfect and the balance of real world problems and fantastical problems/solutions was so well done. I loved the political intrigue mixed with the religion and fantasy. The world feels so real that it is impossible not to get lost in it.

I mean, it could’ve used more Hector. But that doens’t mean there wasn’t a good bit of Hector. Just that I always want more.

Everything about this book was perfect.

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