Publication Date: Sept. 20th 2011
Short Synopsis (Goodreads): 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. She 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 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 Review: So, I liked this book, I did, but I didn't love it.
To start off, the pre-released cover of a girl in a purple dress with some space scene behind her had me thinking this was going to be kind of sci-fi, and then the newer covers had me confused because they had nothing to do with my original impression, which is fine, but I just didn't know which direction it was all going to head. As many have said before me, the newer covers match the book better!
It's set in a kind of desert, Arabian world and I actually found myself wishing to ride a camel and smell exotic spices. This has been a long dream of mine, but I abhor intense sunlight. Moving on...
What I found most interesting about this book was that it was descriptive, yet direct. Ms. Carson doesn't waste words going into long winded details about things. Actually, she's a little abrupt and that took me some getting used to at first, but she was still able to convey the beauty of the world and the people in it.
Another thing I liked about this book was that the protagonist isn't a skinny waif. I myself have some meat on my bones so the fact that Elisa liked to eat (though a little too much sometimes) helped me relate to her more.
I love transformational books where the main character learns to become stronger and finds more about themselves. This book had that for sure. However, towards the end... I don't know, it just worked a little too easily.
Religion is a big part of this book, but it wasn't overbearing or preachy. Bravo Ms. Carson!
So, why 3 1/2 stars as opposed to higher? I don't know... it's kind of hard to put into words but I didn't find myself sitting on the edge of my seat. I wanted to know what happened, and I knew not everyone would survive but....I was ok with that. I wish I could have been little bit more heartbroken about what happened towards the end, but I wasn't *spoiler down below*.
Overall, a good read and I'll continue the series, but not as intense as I was hoping for.
*spoiler coming up!*
*spoiler spoiler spoiler*
*spoiler- so, I read somewhere, I think an author interview, where she said that after she decided to kill someone everything started to work out better. This was before I had read the book so when I started it I was looking for who would die. Enter Humberto. I liked the kid, and I was glad he appreciated Elisa for who she was, but I didn't feel he was going to be able to grow with her as the leader she would need to be and so....I knew he was going to die. Thus, I wasn't totally as into him and I think the author wanted us to be and so when he died I was kind of like...yup, saw that coming. I wasn't expecting Alejandro to die as well so now I'm left looking for a new romance aspect (I HAVE to have me some romance in the books I read) so my thoughts are straying towards the captain of the guards...forgot his name.....what are your thoughts? spoiler*