Fire and Thorns

Publisher: Gollancz

Princess Elisa bears the Godstone, a sign that she has been chosen to perform an act of heroism, in her navel. However, her people see her as useless and lazy. When she turns sixteen she is bartered off to a foreign declining kingdom for the purpose of royal marriage. Here, she is rejected by her handsome and much older husband and seen as a pawn to be used by the powerful courtiers.

Yet when an army invades the kingdom, Elisa is convinced that not only is her life in danger, but that the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Will Elisa's epiphany be enough to save her new home.

Rae creates a rich and beautiful world, albeit one filled with political intrigue and danger. Her decision to start with Elisa as spoilt and apathetic leads to a fully realised and engaging character ark, one that many teen readers may see reflected in themselves.

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