This is a collection of reviews for 3 novellas in the Fire and Thorn series by Rae Carson.
Series: Fire and Thorn #0.5
Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness. And it was not Alodia.
Alodia is the crown princess of the realm. The sister who knows how to rule, and the one who is constantly reminded that she has not been marked for a grand destiny. But Alodia has plans, and she will be the greatest queen her people have ever known. So she travels–with her hopeless, naïve, chosen sister–to a distant part of their land, to begin to secure her supporters. This region needs its princesses, for it is plagued with a curse. The crops don’t grow, the spring doesn’t arrive, and a fierce jaguar stalks the shadows, leaving only empty homes splashed with blood behind. If Alodia can save them, no one will be able to deny her strength and her sovereignty.
But what she discovers could change the fate of her kingdom, if not her world. And it will most certainly change her opinion of her younger sister.
3 Drink Me Potions
I was always intrigued by Alodia, the older sister of our dear princess Elisa. She came across as kind of cold and not-so-understanding of her younger sister’s situation. She was prettier, thinner, and groomed just right to be fitting for the title of Queen.
This novella didn’t help me LOVE her when it came to her mildly cold actions and not-so-sensitive attitude towards Elisa, but it did make me at least like her. She had a lot on her plate too that we readers wouldn’t have known without her perspective. Her attempts to help, goodhearted but reckless nonetheless and her bravery made the story tense enough to be cause of a sweet and easy read. Her unique narrative voice was similarly as enjoyable as the rest of the series.
Overall, The Shadow Cats made me admire her and wish a little that we could have a whole story about Alodia after the events of The Bitter Kingdom. I think she has her own kind of spunk that would be interesting to explore, especially since this world Carson has created still has so much potential for things to go awry.
Series: Fire and Thorns #0.6
On the outskirts of Joya d’Arena, small villages fight for survival against the onslaught of sorcerers and raiders. Mara’s village has been safe–so far–but Mara decides to escape anyway. Escape from her harsh, abusive father. Escape with her first love. But when their plans fall on the same day that the animagi burn the village to the ground, Mara faces losses that could destroy her. She’s a survivor, though. She is going to make it through the mountains, and she is going to protect the refugees following her. Because there’s a rumored safe haven . . . and some say they have found the Chosen One.
Told from Mara’s point-of-view, The Shattered Mountain is an alternate perspective of the beginning of the acclaimed The Girl of Fire and Thorns.
3 Drink Me Potions
I liked Mara in the Fire and Thorn series, so it was nice to get a little bit of her back story that occurs just a little bit before her first appearance.
The Shattered Mountains detailed her journey to the rebel camp, which would change her life forever. It was a sad story, and I hadn’t wanted to even really read this because of that known element, but I’m not sorry that I did. Her character always seemed so brave and strong, but seeing her in this in between state where she had to figure out what to do with all these people relying her was an interesting perspective. She had to learn to take care of not only herself, but to take charge of dependents.
Mara’s relationship with Julio was the sweetest element to this novella. Personally, I liked him over Belen as a romantic interest, so this was icing on top of the cake. Yes, she used to rely so much on him – his strength, his charm and easygoing attitude, his kindness and love. But, it made her stronger when she had to give him all that she had, and even more so when she learned to let go. This little story may be bittersweet, but it was a nice addition to the series, I will admit.
Series: Fire and Thorns #0.7
At fifteen years old, Hector is the youngest squire in the most elite military force in the country. And his first day is disastrous. Everyone assumes the only reason he was recruited is his close personal association with King Alejandro, not because he’s really earned it.
But Alejandro needs Hector for a secret mission, one that gives him the chance to prove to everyone—including himself—that he is worthy to be a Royal Guard. Hector must break into the ancient Fortress of Wind to retrieve something so important that the kingdom’s future depends on it. What Hector finds in the fortress will stretch his bond of friendship with his king near to breaking.
And it will prepare him to become the fearsome warrior and lord commander Elisa will never let go.
4 Drink Me Potions
Hector’s own personal story would, of course, have to be epic.
But boy was I surprised to see him struggle with his temper and comments. I suppose that’s what made this novella even better. There was character development from the young teen that he was working in the Palace for Alejandro to the strong and able soldier that he became.
I initially thought this story would have some secret mission regarding magic and the bad guys, the Inviernos. I don’t know why I did, but this made everything all the more shocking at the end. From being humiliated while trying out for the King’s Royal guard, to being hunted on his secret mission, Hector’s story was a whirlwind of craziness that fit perfectly with your expectations from this series. The events that occurred here started molding him into the person that you and I have come to adore. Loyalty, bravery, leadership and quick thinking were forged from this seed, and I loved pretty much every moment of it. If you’re any fan of the Carson’s Fire and Thorn series, this novella should at least be read.