Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
Although this sequel to Girl of Fire and Thorns is not quite as exciting as the first installment, it will surely hold readers’ interest and get them hyped for the third volume, The Bitter Kingdom which is currently on order for the BHS library. This story starts shortly after the end of the wars in which Queen Elisa conquered the animagi sorcerers with the help of her Godstone. Unfortunately, the sorcerers of Invierne don’t give up easily, and Hector and Elisa’s other Royal Guards have thwarted numerous assassination attempts. The seventeen-year-old queen’s quest in this book is to find the zafira, or soul of the world. Readers can anticipate lots of action and adventure as Elisa, Hector and her ladies-in-waiting struggle through innumerable obstacles in order to find the world’s source of power.
What I especially enjoyed about this book was watching the young Elisa trying to assume the weighty, adult duties of a monarch. She gets little help from her own advisors, to the point where she believes at least one of them might be plotting against her. I can wholeheartedly recommend this to fans of the first book and readers who enjoy fantasy and adventure.