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Rae Carson Read-Along: THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS Chapters 24-34 + Giveaway

FT_Week3

Welcome to Week Three of the Rae Carson Read-Along! If you’re just now hearing about it, feel free to check out Week One’s post for more info, HERE. And if you’d like to know what I thought about Chapters 12-23, check out Week Two’s post HERE.

But to quickly recap, we’ll be reading all three books in the Fire and Thorns series leading up to the release of WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER, which comes out on September 22nd. (I am so excited that I can’t wait. I won’t. And so I’ll be reading it next week during the short break in the read-along.)

And if you’d like to catch up on last week’s posts on the other participating bloggers’ blogs, here’s where you can find them…

Me, My Shelf and I | @MyShelfAndI

Mundie Moms | @MundieMoms

Fictitious Delicious | @FictishDelish

Good Books And Good Wine | @BooksAndWine

The read-along schedule can be found at the bottom of the post. And you can also follow along on Twitter via #ReadingRae.

There’s also a read-along giveaway for a few pre-order copies of WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER, so if you’d like to enter for a chance to win, scroll down to the Rafflecopter. (It’s the same Rafflecopter as last week.)

And now for my thoughts….


The Read-Along: Chapters 24-34

***Spoiler Alert: There are a few general plot spoilers in this post. ***

These last eleven chapters were INTENSE! And heartbreaking. And epic. And nail-biting. And if I give the play-by-play like I’ve done for the previous chapters, I will end up spoiling the ending. Which I don’t want to do. So I’m going to be a bit more vague this time.

But there is a plan to journey to Basajuan to see if the proposed alliance is a trick or if it’s real. Things do not go as planned and while there are some unexpected saviors, not everyone makes it out safely. [Pause for tears.]

Elisa learns more about the animagi and their plans for the Godstone – her Godstone. While taking down one of them may have saved her, it also made her a target. Because now the enemy knows she’s the bearer and has what they need.

Part III takes readers back to Brisadulce as the war with Invierne is headed to Joya D’Arena. With five animagi leading the way way, the chance for success is slim, unless Elisa can figure out a way to harness the power of the Godstone to counter their sorcery.

A puzzle needs to be solved and the hidden Godstones need to be found. If not, all of Joya D’Arena will be lost and Elisa, the King, and Rosario will have to flee. But which of those possible outcomes actually happens is not something I’m going to reveal.

I will say that there is a journey, a coronation, a reunion or two. There are unexpected heroes. Promises made will be honored. There is plenty of action. There is bloodshed. Lives are lost. There will be tears.

And while some questions do remain, things wrap up nicely, making for a very satisfying versus cliff-hanger-y – albeit heartrending – end.


About THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS

Girl-of-Fire-and-Thorns

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Title & Series: THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS (Fire and Thorns #1)
Author: Rae Carson
Release date: September 20, 2011
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 432
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

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. 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.

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About Rae Carson

RaeCarson

Author portrait by Michelle Daniel Photography

Rae Carson is the author of the New York Times–bestselling Girl of Fire and Thorns series. Her books tend to contain lots of adventure, magic, and smart girls who make (mostly) smart choices. Originally from California, Rae Carson now lives in Arizona with her husband.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS


Other Books in the Series

Crown-of-Embers

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Title & Series: THE CROWN OF EMBERS (Fire and Thorns #2)
Release date: September 18, 2012
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 416
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

Description…

She does not know what awaits her at the enemy’s gate.

Elisa is a hero.

She led her people to victory over a terrifying, sorcerous army. Her place as the country’s ruler should be secure. But it isn’t.

Her enemies come at her like ghosts in a dream, from foreign realms and even from within her own court. And her destiny as the chosen one has not yet been fulfilled.

To conquer the power she bears, once and for all, Elisa must follow a trial of long-forgotten—and forbidden—clues, from the deep, hidden catacombs of her own city to the treacherous seas. With her go a one-eyed spy, a traitor, and the man whom—despite everything—she is falling in love with.

If she’s lucky, she will return from this journey. But there will be a cost.

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The-Bitter-Kingdom

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Title & Series: THE BITTER KINGDOM (Fire and Thorns #3)
Release date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 448
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

Description…

The champion must not waver. The champion must not fear. The gate of darkness closes.

Elisa is a fugitive.

Her enemies have stolen the man she loves, and they await her at the gate of darkness. Her country is on the brink of civil war, with her own soldiers ordered to kill her on sight.

Her Royal Majesty, Queen Lucero-Elisa né Riqueza de Vega, bearer of the Godstone, will lead her three loyal companions deep into the enemy’s kingdom, a land of ice and snow and brutal magic, to rescue Hector and win back her throne. Her power grows with every step, and the shocking secrets she will uncover on this, her final journey, could change the course of history.

But that is not all. She has a larger destiny. She must become the champion the world has been waiting for.

Even of those who hate her most.

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GoFaTStories

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Title & Series: THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS STORIES (Fire and Thorns #0.5-0.7)
Release date: August 26, 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 272
Formats: Paperback, audio, eBook

Description…

A paperback edition of three novellas set within the world of the New York Times bestselling Girl of Fire and Thorns series, previously available only digitally: The Shadow Cats, The Shattered Mountain, and The King’s Guard.

The Shadow Cats is told from the perspective of Elisa’s older sister. Discover how their sibling rivalry looks from Alodia’s viewpoint, and find out why Alodia agrees to marry her sister off to King Alejandro of Joya de Vega.

The Shattered Mountain revolves around Elisa’s best friend and handmaiden, Mara. Before she meets Elisa at the rebel camp in The Girl of Fire and Thorns, she suffers her own tragedy. Her village is destroyed and she must lead the few young survivors to safety.

The King’s Guard centers on Hector, Commander of the Royal Guard and Elisa’s true love. Set years before The Girl of Fire and Thorns, it shows us fifteen-year-old Hector as a new recruit. He must prove himself—and he discovers a secret he must keep forever.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES – The Shadow Cats, The King’s Guard, The Shattered Mountain  | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


The Schedule

If you’d like to follow along, here are the dates where you can stop by all the participating blogs.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns

  • July 13th | Chapters 1 through 11
  • July 20th | Chapters 12 through 23
  • July 27th (today) | Chapters 24 through 34

The Crown of Embers

  • August 17th | Chapters 1 through 10
  • August 24th | Chapters 11 through 20
  • August 31st | Chapters 21 through 30

The Bitter Kingdom

  • September 7th | Chapters 1 through 14
  • September 14th | Chapters 15 through 28
  • September 21st | Chapters 29 through 42

Walk On Earth a Stranger

  • September 22nd | Release Day Celebration Blast

The Giveaway

I am offering up for giveaway a pre-order copy of WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER to THREE (3) winners.

  • Giveaway ends at the conclusion of the read-along
  • Must be 13 or older to enter
  • There will be 3 winners
  • Giveaway is open to anywhere The Book Depository ships
  • Books will be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository depending upon location
  • Winners will be announced in the Rafflecopter and contacted by email
  • Winners will have 72 hours to respond with their details
  • There are no requirements to like or follow this blog but there are extra entries to follow the author and publisher on social media, to add the Fire and Thorns series and WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER on Goodreads, to leave a comment, to tweet a message, and to follow the other read-along participants on Twitter.

Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: This same giveaway Rafflecopter is included in all read-along posts for convenience.


Review: A GIRL UNDONE

A Girl Undone_mech.indd

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Title & Series: A GIRL UNDONE (A Girl Called Fearless #2)
Author: Catherine Linka
Release date: June 23, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Pages: 304
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Read an EXCERPT

Description…

On the run with deadly government secrets, Avie must decide if she can live up to her name and truly become fearless for the cause or if it’s better to just give in.

The sequel and explosive conclusion to A Girl Called Fearless.

Having survived a violent confrontation with the US government, Avie is not out of danger. Both she and the young man she loves, Yates, have been declared terrorists, and Yates is hospitalized in critical condition, leaving Avie with the perilous task of carrying information that can bring down the Paternalist party, if she can get it into the right hands.

Forced on the run with handsome, enigmatic woodsman Luke, Avie struggles when every turn becomes a choice between keeping the two of them alive or completing their mission. With her face on every news channel and a quarter million dollar reward from the man who still owns her marriage Contract, Avie’s worst fears are about to come true.

Equal parts thrilling and romantic, A Girl Undone is sure to keep your heart racing right until the very end.

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NOTE: This review is based on an eARC received from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.


The Review

With a lightning-fast pace, a gripping and suspense-filled plot, and a number of surprises, A GIRL UNDONE is the thrilling and wildly entertaining conclusion to this two-book series. It brings even more excitement with not only retrievers but federal agents looking for Avie due to her involvement in what went down in Salvation. The tension has increased dramatically because of her notoriety, her mission, and the complication of being on the run with Luke. And with a few unexpected twists, it makes for an utterly captivating and unputdownable read.

The story continues almost immediately following the events in the first book, with Yates hospitalized and Avie forced to leave him behind in order to keep her promise to try and get the information she’s holding into the hands of someone who can make a difference against the Paternalists. She is once again on the run and this time she’s not alone.

But with her ultimate goal of getting to safety and being reunited with Yates, traveling with Luke is more problematic than helpful. And when his agenda conflicts with hers, she’s forced to choose between staying with him, trying to keep him safe, and trying to take down the Paternalists or staying on plan, putting herself first, and ignoring the sacrifices that were made. Though as a girl that Yates once upon a time called Fearless, there isn’t really a choice to be made at all.

Catherine Linka did an incredible job of continuing, and wrapping up, her story in this sequel. She let Avie become someone who was more than outraged at injustice, someone who saw things only in black and white, someone impulsive and who thought only of herself. She let her become someone who was brave, someone who listened, someone who was willing to sacrifice, someone who was fearless.

The author expanded the world, letting readers see just how negative an impact the Paternalist Movement had. She allowed readers to get to know Luke, introduced a few new key characters, and brought back one or two others they might not have expected to see again. She elevated the danger, the risk, the uncertainty. And she delivered a more than satisfying conclusion.

A GIRL UNDONE promises to keep readers glued to the page. From Avie’s fugitive status, to the threat of recapture or retrieval at every turn, to the risk of losing the crucial information before delivery, to Yates’ uncertain future, readers will be on edge from the start. Add in deception, betrayal, a nosy neighbor, a dubious ally, twelve tiny chihuahuas, and a dress that is much more than a dress, and you have a story that will be unforgettable.

The Rating

05


About the Author

Catherine Linka

Catherine Linka is the author of A Girl Called Fearless and its sequel, A GIRL UNDONE. A former children’s and young adult book buyer for an independent bookstore in Southern California, she studied international politics at Georgetown University before getting a master’s degree in business at the University of North Carolina. After years in sales, marketing and advertising, she reimagined her life and pursued a masters in writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Catherine is a regular speaker and panelist at book festivals and publishing conferences.

Catherine is married and lives with her husband in the San Gabriel foothills. Visit her at www.catherinelinka.com.

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Other Books in the Series

A Girl Called Fearless

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Title & Series: A GIRL CALLED FEARLESS (A Girl Called Fearless #1)
Author: Catherine Linka
Release date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Pages: 368
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Read an EXCERPT

Description…

Avie Reveare has the normal life of a privileged teen growing up in L.A., at least as normal as any girl’s life is these days. After a synthetic hormone in beef killed fifty million American women ten years ago, only young girls, old women, men, and boys are left to pick up the pieces. The death threat is past, but fathers still fear for their daughters’ safety, and the Paternalist Movement, begun to “protect” young women, is taking over the choices they make.

Like all her friends, Avie still mourns the loss of her mother, but she’s also dreaming about college and love and what she’ll make of her life. When her dad “contracts” her to marry a rich, older man to raise money to save his struggling company, her life suddenly narrows to two choices: Be trapped in a marriage with a controlling politician, or run. Her lifelong friend, student revolutionary Yates, urges her to run to freedom across the border to Canada. As their friendship turns to passion, the decision to leave becomes harder and harder. Running away is incredibly dangerous, and it’s possible Avie will never see Yates again. But staying could mean death.

From Catherine Linka comes this romantic, thought-provoking, and frighteningly real story, A Girl Called Fearless, about fighting for the most important things in life–freedom and love.

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Review: RESONANCE

Resonance

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Title & Series: RESONANCE (Dissonance #2)
Author: Erica O’Rourke
Release date: July 21, 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 448
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Read an Excerpt

Description…

As a Walker between worlds, Del is responsible for the love of her life—and the fate of millions—in this thrilling sequel to Dissonance.

Del risked everything to save Simon, and now he’s gone, off in another world with no way for Del to find him.

She’s back at the Consort—training to be a Walker like everyone in her family. But the Free Walkers have other plans for her. This rebel group is trying to convince Del that the Consort is evil, and that her parents are unwittingly helping the Consort kill millions of people. The Free Walkers make Del the ultimate promise: if Del joins their fight, she will be reunited with Simon.

In agreeing, Del might be endangering her family. But if she doesn’t, innocent people will die, and Simon will be lost to her forever. The fate of the multiverse depends on her choice…

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NOTE: This review is based on a finished copy received from the publicity agency in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.


The Review

RESONANCE is the absolutely riveting, action-packed, nail-biting, and thought-provoking sequel in Erica O’Rourke’s stunning and inventive Dissonance series. It picks up shortly after the heartbreaking events that left readers anxious but hopeful for what is to come and takes them on an exhilarating and thrilling and emotional ride.

Reeling from what Simon did to keep her safe and the discoveries she made about her Grandpa Monty, Del is not the same girl she was, she is not ready to pick her life back up and continue on as if nothing had happened, and she’s not even sure she wants to be a Walker. But if she can’t at least pretend, the truth could come out, putting everyone she cares about in danger.

With Lattimer looking to use her to track down the Free Walkers, and the weapon he thinks they have, and the Free Walkers seeking her help against the Consort, help that could save infinite worlds and lives, she’s going to have to do more than pretend, she’s going to have to choose a side. And she’s going to have to be prepared to live with the consequences of her choice.

Whether it’s her own life, the lives of her friends and family, the lives of the Echoes, the lives of the Walkers, or the lives of the Free Walkers, there will be a cost. She’ll just need to decide how high a price she’ll be willing to pay.

Author Erica O’Rourke delivers an epic and amazing follow-up that offers readers much to think about – actions and consequences, right and wrong, differing beliefs, the greater good, the value of a single life, power and control, choices, and sacrifices. She gives them a story that is incredibly well-developed, beautifully told, and utterly captivating.

The author allowed her character Del to grow, to become more aware of the world and worlds she lives in, to become more understanding of others’ choices, and to become more understanding of who she is and what she’s willing to live with and live without. She made her into a hero, but one whose heroism is believable.

From its first movement to its last, RESONANCE is brilliant and gorgeous and moving and simply extraordinary. It promises to engage, allure, surprise, electrify. It ratchets up the tension and suspense, ensuring readers will be kept on edge. And it introduces a jaw-dropping twist that they won’t see coming. It is an imaginative and memorable, must-, must-, must-read sequel.

The Rating

06

Like In-N-Out Burger‘s infamous secret menu this one deserves my off-the-menu 6 star rating.


About Erica O’Rourke

erica-orourke

Erica O’Rourke is the author of Dissonance and Resonance and of the Torn trilogy, which includes Torn, Tangled, and Bound. She lives near Chicago with her family. Visit her at EricaORourke.com and on Twitter: @Erica_ORourke.

WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | TUMBLR | INSTAGRAMSIMON & SCHUSTERGOODREADS


Other Books in the Series

Dissonance

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Title & Series: DISSONANCE (Dissonance #1)
Author: Erica O’Rourke
Release date: July 22, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 469
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook

Read an Excerpt

Description…

Some decisions have unimaginable consequences.

Every time someone makes a choice, a new parallel world is spun off the existing one. Eating breakfast or skipping it, sneaking out instead of staying in bed—every decision creates an alternate universe in which an Echo self takes the road not travelled. As a Walker who can navigate between these realities, Del is training to help keep the dimensions in harmony.

When Del secretly starts to investigate other dissonant worlds, she get tangled up with an Echo of her longtime crush. She knows she shouldn’t keep seeing him. But as Del persists, she uncovers a truth that the Council of Walkers is trying to hide—a secret that threatens the entire multiverse.

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Harmonic

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Title & Series: HARMONIC (Dissonance #1.5)
Author: Erica O’Rourke
Release date: March 17, 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 119
Formats: eBook

Description…

Del’s older sister can also walk between worlds, but her loyalties are uniquely tested in this original enovella set in the inventive world of Dissonance.

Addison Sullivan, Del’s older sister, has always been considered a model Walker—but her reputation within the Consort has been tainted by her grandfather’s betrayal and her sister’s recklessness. She is desperate to regain her position within the Consort and equally desperate to keep Del from spiraling out of control after losing the boy she loves.

The Consort offers Addie a chance to redeem herself: if she can track down the Free Walkers her grandfather knew twenty years ago, they’ll fast-track her apprenticeship and put her in charge of her own team. Addie asks a former classmate and crush, Laurel, a Consort historian, for help. As they work together, Addie’s feelings for Laurel resurface, but she’s too afraid to act. Same-sex relationships aren’t expressly forbidden by the Consort, but she fears that a relationship with Laurel would be viewed as yet another mark against her.

While she is fighting her feelings for Laurel, troubling details start emerging during their investigation…details that paint Addie’s family in a sinister light. Will she reveal what she’s learned to the Consort, or try to protect her family?

This enovella is set in the time between Dissonance and Resonance.

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Giveaway: FOREVER FOR A YEAR by B.T. Gottfred

FFAYBanner

I am super excited to help spread the word about FOREVER FOR A YEAR’s release this July with an awesome giveaway courtesy of the publisher, Macmillan.

I’ve got this one on my TBR pile for next week and I can’t wait to find out what the choice and the mistake are that cause Carolina and Trevor’s unbreakable relationship to break. And I can’t wait to find out whether they are able to fall in love again, even if it isn’t quite the same as the first time around.

If you’d like to learn more about the book and author, there are links to places you can find them online, below. You can also follow along on social media (or join the conversation) using #ForeverforaYear.


About FOREVER FOR A YEAR

ForeverforaYearCover

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Title: FOREVER FOR A YEAR
Author: B.T. Gottfred
Release date: July 7, 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Pages: 432
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Read an Excerpt

Description…

When Carolina and Trevor meet on their first day of school, something draws them to each other. They gradually share first kisses, first touches, first sexual experiences. When they’re together, nothing else matters. But one of them will make a choice, and the other a mistake, that will break what they thought was unbreakable. Both will wish that they could fall in love again for the first time . . . but first love, by definition, can’t happen twice.

Told in Carolina and Trevor’s alternating voices, this is an up-close-and-personal story of two teenagers falling in love for the first time, and discovering it might not last forever.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND | MACMILLANGOODREADS


About B.T. Gottfred

BTGottfred

B.T. Gottfred is an author, playwright, and director. Some stuff he has done to feign sanity includes writing, directing and producing the feature film The Movie Hero; writing the Off-Broadway play Marry, Fuck, Or Kill and web series “Sex and Love Conspire to Destroy the World,” and writing and directing the play Women Are Crazy Because Men Are Assholes, which has played over four years in Los Angeles and Chicago and is set to make its Off-Broadway premiere this year. Forever for a Year is his first novel. Sort of.

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The Giveaway

BeachDayPrize

Courtesy of the publisher, Macmillan, I have an awesome Summer Love Prize Pack for giveaway!

ONE (1) Winner will receive…

  • A copy of FOREVER FOR A YEAR
  • A summer tote bag and sunglasses

Giveaway is US ONLY. Prizing and samples provided by Macmillan.

  • There is no requirement to like or follow to enter the giveaway. But there are extra entry opportunities to follow the author and publisher on social media, to add the book on Goodreads, to leave a comment and to tweet about the giveaway.

Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Rae Carson Read-Along: THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS Chapters 12-23 + Giveaway

FT_Week2

Welcome to Week Two of the Rae Carson Read-Along! If you’re just now hearing about it, feel free to check out last week’s post for more info, HERE.

But to quickly recap, we’ll be reading all three books in the Fire and Thorns series leading up to the release of WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER, which comes out on September 22nd. (Can’t wait! Can’t wait! Can’t wait!)

And if you’d like to catch up on last week’s posts on the other participating bloggers’ blogs, here’s where you can find them…

Me, My Shelf and I | @MyShelfAndI

Mundie Moms | @MundieMoms

Fictitious Delicious | @FictishDelish

Good Books And Good Wine | @BooksAndWine

The read-along schedule can be found at the bottom of the post. And you can also follow along on Twitter via #ReadingRae.

There’s also a read-along giveaway for a few pre-order copies of WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER, so if you’d like to enter for a chance to win, scroll down to the Rafflecopter. (It’s the same Rafflecopter as last week.)

And now for my thoughts….


The Read-Along: Chapters 12-23

***Spoiler Alert: There are a few general plot spoilers in this post. ***

As I mentioned last week, I’ve already read THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS and I read ahead because I just couldn’t stop after the first eleven chapters. So this week’s read should have been super quick. But once again I read ahead just a little.

Chapter twelve is the last chapter in Part I. It begins with Elisa touring the merchants’ market with Rosario and Hector and ends with her kidnapping. And somewhere in between Elisa and Rosario become fond of one another after a bit of reprimanding, Cosmé discovers Elisa’s Godstone, Ximena reveals that tasters have been used for Elisa’s safety, and Alejandro briefly visits her in the night.

If that wasn’t exciting enough, Part II is full of peril, surprises, betrayal, romance. In these next eleven chapters Elisa survives a long and arduous journey, a deadly sandstorm, some rather questionable soup – ick, don’t ask! – and being taken prisoner by an animagus.

She is introduced to a people who have been all but neglected by the King and who are determined to keep their home, even if fighting back against Invierne could cost them every last one of their lives. She learns more about being the bearer, discovers she has more strength and will and determination than she thought she was capable of having, and finds that she cares about these people, these children, who have taken her and are looking to her for help.

She also meets, and gets to know, Humberto, who looks at her in a way that her husband, the King, hasn’t.

Instead of looking for an all but impossible means of escape, Elisa decides to stay and try to help. She sees firsthand how ill-prepared they are, witnesses the devastation to their people caused by the army of Invierne. She strategizes and comes up with a plan that just might save them and others in their situation. And in the process finds herself behind enemy lines.

With her plan in force and seeming to catch on with other peoples looking to save their homes and minimize their losses, she manages to come to the attention of someone she never imagined. And so ends this week’s portion of the read-along.

In just these twelve chapters Elisa goes from someone who is sheltered, insecure and timid, to someone who seems worthy of being the bearer of the Godstone. Her intelligence, combined with her bravery, makes her someone to be reckoned with. She is not only a leader but a formidable opponent.

Not one but three journeys are embarked upon in these chapters. Elisa is taken prisoner twice. Her safety is at risk numerous times. And it’s not over yet.

With a vast and deadly army with powers Elisa still must learn how to counter, a traitor whose motives are yet to be discovered, another traitor who is offering an alliance, the threat of war looming ever closer, and the question about her purpose still unanswered, the best is yet to come.

But boy were these past twelve chapters riveting, action-packed and utterly impossible to put down. And I know, I just know, it will get harder and harder to stop reading at the end of the assigned chapters as the weeks progress.


About THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS

Girl-of-Fire-and-Thorns

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Title & Series: THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS (Fire and Thorns #1)
Author: Rae Carson
Release date: September 20, 2011
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 432
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

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. 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.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


About Rae Carson

RaeCarson

Author portrait by Michelle Daniel Photography

Rae Carson is the author of the New York Times–bestselling Girl of Fire and Thorns series. Her books tend to contain lots of adventure, magic, and smart girls who make (mostly) smart choices. Originally from California, Rae Carson now lives in Arizona with her husband.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS


Other Books in the Series

Crown-of-Embers

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Title & Series: THE CROWN OF EMBERS (Fire and Thorns #2)
Release date: September 18, 2012
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 416
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

Description…

She does not know what awaits her at the enemy’s gate.

Elisa is a hero.

She led her people to victory over a terrifying, sorcerous army. Her place as the country’s ruler should be secure. But it isn’t.

Her enemies come at her like ghosts in a dream, from foreign realms and even from within her own court. And her destiny as the chosen one has not yet been fulfilled.

To conquer the power she bears, once and for all, Elisa must follow a trial of long-forgotten—and forbidden—clues, from the deep, hidden catacombs of her own city to the treacherous seas. With her go a one-eyed spy, a traitor, and the man whom—despite everything—she is falling in love with.

If she’s lucky, she will return from this journey. But there will be a cost.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


The-Bitter-Kingdom

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Title & Series: THE BITTER KINGDOM (Fire and Thorns #3)
Release date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 448
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

Description…

The champion must not waver. The champion must not fear. The gate of darkness closes.

Elisa is a fugitive.

Her enemies have stolen the man she loves, and they await her at the gate of darkness. Her country is on the brink of civil war, with her own soldiers ordered to kill her on sight.

Her Royal Majesty, Queen Lucero-Elisa né Riqueza de Vega, bearer of the Godstone, will lead her three loyal companions deep into the enemy’s kingdom, a land of ice and snow and brutal magic, to rescue Hector and win back her throne. Her power grows with every step, and the shocking secrets she will uncover on this, her final journey, could change the course of history.

But that is not all. She has a larger destiny. She must become the champion the world has been waiting for.

Even of those who hate her most.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


GoFaTStories

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Title & Series: THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS STORIES (Fire and Thorns #0.5-0.7)
Release date: August 26, 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 272
Formats: Paperback, audio, eBook

Description…

A paperback edition of three novellas set within the world of the New York Times bestselling Girl of Fire and Thorns series, previously available only digitally: The Shadow Cats, The Shattered Mountain, and The King’s Guard.

The Shadow Cats is told from the perspective of Elisa’s older sister. Discover how their sibling rivalry looks from Alodia’s viewpoint, and find out why Alodia agrees to marry her sister off to King Alejandro of Joya de Vega.

The Shattered Mountain revolves around Elisa’s best friend and handmaiden, Mara. Before she meets Elisa at the rebel camp in The Girl of Fire and Thorns, she suffers her own tragedy. Her village is destroyed and she must lead the few young survivors to safety.

The King’s Guard centers on Hector, Commander of the Royal Guard and Elisa’s true love. Set years before The Girl of Fire and Thorns, it shows us fifteen-year-old Hector as a new recruit. He must prove himself—and he discovers a secret he must keep forever.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES – The Shadow Cats, The King’s Guard, The Shattered Mountain  | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


The Schedule

If you’d like to follow along, here are the dates where you can stop by all the participating blogs.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns

  • July 13th | Chapters 1 through 11
  • July 20th (today) | Chapters 12 through 23
  • July 27th | Chapters 24 through 34

The Crown of Embers

  • August 17th | Chapters 1 through 10
  • August 24th | Chapters 11 through 20
  • August 31st | Chapters 21 through 30

The Bitter Kingdom

  • September 7th | Chapters 1 through 14
  • September 14th | Chapters 15 through 28
  • September 21st | Chapters 29 through 42

Walk On Earth a Stranger

  • September 22nd | Release Day Celebration Blast

The Giveaway

I am offering up for giveaway a pre-order copy of WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER to THREE (3) winners.

  • Giveaway ends at the conclusion of the read-along
  • Must be 13 or older to enter
  • There will be 3 winners
  • Giveaway is open to anywhere The Book Depository ships
  • Books will be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository depending upon location
  • Winners will be announced in the Rafflecopter and contacted by email
  • Winners will have 72 hours to respond with their details
  • There are no requirements to like or follow this blog but there are extra entries to follow the author and publisher on social media, to add the Fire and Thorns series and WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER on Goodreads, to leave a comment, to tweet a message, and to follow the other read-along participants on Twitter.

Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: This same giveaway Rafflecopter is included in all read-along posts for convenience.


Interview with LEGACY OF KINGS Author Eleanor Herman + Giveaway

InterviewEH

I am super excited to be able to share an interview with Blood of Gods and Royals series author Eleanor Herman on the release day for VOICE OF GODS, a prequel novella that looks to be the perfect introduction to the series in anticipation of the release of LEGACY OF KINGS this August.

It is currently available for free download at Amazon and Barnes & Noble (links are below) and I can’t wait to dive into my copy today. Because I love, love, love this world, the characters, and how the author brought them all to life. I got the chance for a super early read of LEGACY OF KINGS last December and I devoured it. (My Review)

The wait for the next installment has been killing me, so I’m thrilled to be able to have the novella to tide me over. Though I will definitely be re-reading LEGACY OF KINGS when it releases next month.

As I am such a huge fan of the series I am also offering up a pre-order of LEGACY OF KINGS. You can enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of the post.

First, though, here is the Q&A with the very awesome and talented author, Eleanor Herman, where she talks about her book, the setting, favorite character and scene, and more!


The Interview

Q. If you had to describe LEGACY OF KINGS in 25 words or less, how would you describe it?

An epic saga of Alexander the Great at sixteen, where history meets magic, where empires burn and evil stirs… I think I’m out of words.

Q. What is it about the time period your story was set in that drew you to it?

I am SO into the ancient world. Civilization had this peak in terms of sophisticated thought, luxury goods, and travel. People were very accepting of the gods and religions of others. Then, with the advent of Christianity, people lost their tolerance because monotheism means there’s only one god so if you don’t accept my version, I’m going to beat the crap out of you until you do. The quality of everything—art, household comforts, hygiene, and travel—totally tanked. Thought became limited. Plumbing plugged up and wasn’t repaired as the pope said bathing was a sinful vanity; people got filthy and everything smelled.

For a thousand years the Vatican kept the lockbox of knowledge securely closed to keep ignorance alive and their power strong. So until the Renaissance, everything was sort of depressing. I suppose it’s no coincidence that the second historical period I’m drawn to is the Renaissance when things got ancienty again in terms of tolerance and sophistication but maybe not bathing.

Q. What made you decide to write about a young Alexander III of Macedon? What was it about his early life that made you want to tackle it as a writer?

There are great possibilities writing about Alexander the Great because before he was twenty and ascended the throne of Macedon, only two stories are known about him. One was how when he was very young he spoke to Persian ambassadors waiting for his father to come into the throne room. He asked them highly intelligent questions about Persia, its geography, and how far its major cities were from one another. The second one, which is detailed in Legacy of Kings, was how he got his war horse, Bucephalus. So that leaves wide open all kinds of possibilities about his early life without contradicting stuff we know actually happened.

And the fascinating question is, based on the man he became, who was he as a teenager? We have to extrapolate backward to come up with that answer: ambitious, earnest, awesomely smart and brave, ready to take on the world.

Q. Who was your favorite character to write about in LEGACY OF KINGS and who was the most challenging character to write about? And why?

All the girls were easy to write. Kat and Zofia are nice people who manipulate their way into—and try to manipulate their way out of—highly unusual and dangerous situations. But I love Cynane best for her in-your-face bitchiness. There’s a good part of me in her, the part I deny and repress because I want to be a nice person. With Cynane, I could just let it all hang out. She’s smart-mouthed, physically lethal, riddled with pain, and aching from a sense of not belonging, ever. That’s the part of me I try to hide, except for maybe the physically lethal thing.

I have to work harder at writing from a male perspective than a female’s because, while I know men have their own way of thinking, I can’t really understand it. Emotionally, if women are an entire piano of keys, men are—maybe–an octave. So Alexander, Heph and Jacob aren’t manipulative like the girls; they’re more goal-focused. That’s their octave.

Q. What was your favorite (non-spoiler-y) scene to write in LEGACY OF KINGS – and why was it a favorite?

Oddly, the Tournament of Blood and the big battle chapters at the end were my favorites. It’s ironic because at first I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to do them justice; I am so non-violent I hustle bees out of the window and gently deposit ants and stink bugs outside. But once I got into these bloody slash-and-hack scenes, I was SO INTO them. I think they are among the strongest scenes. It helped that I have read just about everything there is on ancient warfare, including all the ancient writers, some of whom were Greek generals. So most of what I used actually happened.

Q. How did you decide upon how much fact vs. how much fiction to include in LEGACY OF KINGS? How did you strike a balance between the two that made sense to you as a writer?

That’s quite a challenge. The non-fiction historian in me wants everything to be completely accurate, which isn’t possible since so little is known of Alexander’s youth. Plus, the fantasy elements are what make the story unpredictable and fascinating. So I focus as much as I can on getting daily life absolutely accurate: the lighting, the food, the clothing, the warfare, the functioning of a palace, the travel. The goal is to make this a gripping ride for the reader, weaving fact and fantasy into a breathtaking pattern.

Q. What do you find to be the biggest challenge about bringing history to life for your readers? And what do you love most about breathing new life into events from the distant past?

Even in my adult non-fiction books (Sex with Kings, Sex with the Queen, Mistress of the Vatican) I made history “sparkle off the pages,” as one reviewer wrote. It’s all in the presentation. Kids would love history if their teachers presented it in an interesting way. These were people just like you and me, trying to get through their lives in some comfort and with a certain measure of success. But in past centuries, invaders could wipe out your entire country, burn it to the ground, and kill or enslave you. Epidemics could kill everyone you knew in a matter of weeks. Civilizations could topple practically overnight. And women, servants, and people of color had absolutely no rights.

Ask yourself, what if you had been born a slave owner in the Deep South? The child of a top Nazi in Germany? What would you have believed? How would you have acted? That’s what I love most about breathing new life into events from the distant past: getting people to think, to ask themselves what they would do, who they would be, what they would want and how they would go about getting it. We’ll never know, of course, but it’s amazing to imagine it.

Q. What other historical figures are you dying to re-introduce to a YA audience?

Julius Caesar! What was he like at sixteen? Cleopatra. Nefertiti. I could go on and on and on…


About Eleanor Herman

Eleanor-Herman

Eleanor Herman is the New York Times bestselling author of Sex with Kings, Sex with the Queen, Mistress of the Vatican, and King Peggy. Obsessed by all things royal and historical, she lives in McLean, Virginia with her husband and four extremely dignified cats. Legacy of Kings is her first novel.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | PINTERESTGOODREADS


About LEGACY OF KINGS

LegacyofKingsCover

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Title & Series: LEGACY OF KINGS (Blood of Gods and Royals #1)
Author: Eleanor Herman
Release date: August 18, 2015
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 432
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Description…

Imagine a time when the gods turn a blind eye to the agony of men, when the last of the hellions roam the plains and evil stirs beyond the edges of the map. A time when cities burn, and in their ashes, empires rise.

Alexander, Macedonia’s sixteen-year-old heir, is on the brink of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world but finds himself drawn to newcomer Katerina, who must navigate the dark secrets of court life while hiding her own mission: kill the Queen. But Kat’s first love, Jacob, will go to unthinkable lengths to win her, even if it means competing for her heart with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince. And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet fiancée, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters.

Weaving fantasy with the salacious and fascinating details of real history, New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Herman reimagines the greatest emperor the world has ever known: Alexander the Great, in the first book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNESTHE BOOK DEPOSITORYINDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


About VOICE OF GODS

VoiceOfGods

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Title & Series: VOICE OF GODS (Blood of Gods and Royals #0.5)
Author: Eleanor Herman
Release date: July 15, 2015
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 122
Formats: eBook

Description…

As the end of an age approaches, gods whisper horrors, families scheme for power and one woman may hold the secret to a lost legacy.

At nineteen, Ada of Caria yearns to take the Snake Blood throne from her mad older siblings. She seeks the help of a young orphaned girl named Helen, the first True Oracle to have walked the earth in more than three hundred years.

Helen may be able to channel the voice of the gods, but she hates her gift and will do anything to get rid of it—even lie to her best friend, Myrtale, the priestess-princess of Epirus who is destined to marry King Philip II of Macedon even though she loves another.

And in the shadows lurks a handsome green-eyed stranger who has more at stake—and more to lose—than anyone could possibly imagine.

Amid jealousy and heartbreak, torrid affairs and secret rendezvous, it is spoken by the gods that either Helen or Myrtale—newly named Olympias—will carry the destiny of the known world within her womb.

The prequel to Legacy of Kings, Voice of Gods traces the intricate web of love and betrayal that led up to the birth of history’s most powerful leader, Alexander the Great.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS


The Giveaway

I’m offering up for giveaway….

A pre-order copy of LEGACY OF KINGS to ONE (1) winner.

  • Must be 13 or older to enter
  • There will be ONE winner
  • Giveaway is open to anywhere The Book Depository ships
  • Prize will be ordered from either Amazon or The Book Depository depending upon location
  • Giveaway ends on August 2nd at 11:59 p.m. Pacific
  • Winner will be announced in the Rafflecopter and contacted by email
  • Winner has 72 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen

There are no requirements to like or follow the blog. But there are extra entry opportunities to follow the author and publisher on social media, for adding the books on Goodreads, for leaving a comment, and for tweeting about the post.

Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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