The Girl of Fire and Thorns Stories by Rae Carson

October 16, 2014     erinbook     Book review

The Girl of Fire and Thorns Stories by Rae Carson

Release Date: August 26, 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
288 Pages
Received: Library
Format: Paperback


4 Nuts
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.
Review: Let’s be honest, the moment I found out that Hector had his own story I had to read this collection. What can I say, he’s like second in command of the book boyfriend squad in my head (The Darkling is in charge, of course). I wasn’t prepared for the big WTF moment that was coming, or that I would enjoy the rest of the stories as much as I did.
For me the weakest story of the bunch is Alodia’s, The Shadow Cats. The dismissiveness with which she treats her sister for the better part of the story is extremely annoying and does not make her very likable. While she does sort of change her tune at the end, I can’t say she becomes a better person. She may be a tad more likable but she does still see her sister as a useable thing which I don’t like.
Mara’s story is second, called The Shattered Mountain, and right from the beginning I know it’s about to kill my feels. Mara is brave but I know that a part of her knows what could, and eventually will, happen. I sort of want to give her a hug at the end, and punch Cosme in the face. Which was pretty much my reaction to Cosme through most of the first Girl of Fire and Thorns book. I want more of Mara, she’s a great character, and I would love to get another story about her at some point.
The best story in the collection is saved for last, and Rae Carson obviously knew what she was doing placing it at the end. The King’s Guard has the biggest payoff at the end of the story of the three. There are a lot of secrets in this world, and Hector is right in the middle of this one. Hector is the youngest recruit, but I always tend to forget how young he is. He rarely acts his age. This is a great origin story for Hector, and one I really wanted. What I got was a lot more important and convoluted than I realized a novella like this could be.
As I’ve said, Hector’s story is the best, and not just because he’s my favorite character. It’s also the best written with the best ending. Alodia’s story really missed the mark for me, the other stories just seem more grand and important but Alodia doesn’t really change a whole lot in her story. I don’t feel for her the way I do the others, there’s something missing there. I’m certainly glad that the stories were placed in this particular order. Overall it was a pretty good collection and I wish there were more.
What do you thing of these novellas? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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2 responses to “The Girl of Fire and Thorns Stories by Rae Carson

  1. Hmm you have me tempted to try this one. I did love Hector so much! I haven't read any collections of novellas yet-though I do have the Assassin's Blade on my bookshelf at home. I feel like its terrible to say but I get so frustrated at the idea of paying for a novella -just give me a whole book! But a collection might be the way to avoid that.

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