Crown of Embers by Rae Carson410 pgs.
Target audience: Young Adult
Elisa, the newly appointed queen of Joya D’Arena, struggles to maintain her power. Despite her recent victory over an army of the Invierne sorcerers, her authority is met with resistance from Lord Conde Eduardo and Lord General Luz-Manuel who have been the ruling power for decades and who are not willing to give it up. They view her as too young and inexperienced and thwart her decisions at every turn. Her only recourse is to marry and the Quorum members eagerly put forth their favorite candidates. But Elisa, whose heart still belongs to Lord Hector, balks at taking any of them as a prince consort. Multiple assassination attempts by the Animagi force Elisa to harness the power of her Godstone and fulfill her destiny. In order to accomplish this, the young queen, Lord Hector and her nurse Ximena lead a small party south on a secret quest to find the mythical source of her power. They travel through tunnels, catacombs, over a dangerous sea, up treacherous mountains following cryptic clues and paths. Faith, love, loyalty, betrayal and a healthy dose of adventure complete this stunning sequel to The Girl of Fire and Thorns. The dramatic ending leaves the future of Elisa and Hector’s love and the fate of Joya D’Arena hanging in the balance. There is enough detail for first time readers to enjoy it, but be assured they will then rush back to read the first one.