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A Reader of Fictions: Audiobook Review: The Crown of Embers

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Audiobook Review: The Crown of Embers

The Crown of Embers
Fire and Thorns, Book 2

Author: Rae Carson
Narrator: Jennifer Ikeda
Duration: 11 hrs, 41 mins
Publisher: Harper Audio
Source: Publisher for review

Description from Goodreads:
In the sequel to the acclaimed The Girl of Fire and Thorns, a seventeen-year-old princess turned war queen faces sorcery, adventure, untold power, and romance as she fulfills her epic destiny.

Elisa is the hero of her country. She led her people to victory against a terrifying enemy, and now she is their queen. But she is only seventeen years old. Her rivals may have simply retreated, choosing stealth over battle. And no one within her court trusts her-except Hector, the commander of the royal guard, and her companions. As the country begins to crumble beneath her and her enemies emerge from the shadows, Elisa will take another journey. With a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with, Elisa crosses the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone's power. That is not all she finds. A breathtaking, romantic, and dangerous second volume in the Fire and Thorns trilogy.

Series Up to Now:
1: The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Goodreads|Review)

Oh man, so I wasn't a huge fan of The Girl of Fire and Thorns. I was so convinced it was the kind of book I should love that I even read it twice. The reread resulted in a pretty similar result, though I did like the audiobook a bit better than the print version. Despite that, I still resolved to venture through the next book. Y'all, I am so glad that I am so stubborn that I didn't give up because I was so into this book the whole way through.

At 11 hours, this audiobook is pretty dang long, but I got through it so swiftly. Believe it or not, I only started listening to this audiobook on Saturday, and I spent most of Sunday and today (I'm writing this review on Monday evening) out of the house and not with this book. Basically, I spent all of the time I could listening to this. I meant to finish three books yesterday, but instead finished a measly one because I could not stop listening to this. I'd tell myself I should go read, but would find myself deciding to stay and listen to just one more chapter or, you know, ten.

Elisa still isn't my favorite heroine of all time, but she did not get on my nerves the way she did before. She even makes reference to some of her previous annoying habits and how she has outgrown them. During the course of the book, she continues to grow. In fact, the physical journey she takes really serves to help her on her psychological journey.

Why did I love this book? Why was I so unable to walk away from it and read my other review books? Hector. I just freaking love that guy. He is totally the kind of hero that I cannot resist: all broody and inimitable on the outside with a soft, sweet center for the right woman. *melts* Through most of the book, they're right on the cusp of realizing their feelings for one another, and I got caught up in the spiral of will-they-get-together-I-must-know-right-now; I couldn't stop listening for the same reason I can't stop watching kdramas. Pretty much at all times I was yelling at Elisa to "get it, gurrrrrl."

Additionally, the plot focused much more strongly on politics than on religion this time. Though religion remains an important theme, I didn't find it to be quite so much up in my face. The political intricacies of trying to rule a kingdom she's only lived in for a short time are much more interesting to me. There were still some annoying religious things, but they took a backseat, so I'm not going to outline it.

If you like adventure, there's bunches of that too. The book freaking opens with an assassination attempt. Can you smell the drama? Just like with the first book, there's betrayal and quests and romance. Also, at the end of the journey, there is this scene that creeped me right out. Just saying.

So, if you're like me and weren't wowed by The Girl of Fire and Thorns, but really feel like it sounds like you should love it, you might want to try The Crown of Embers, because it might turn out to be worth your time.

Rating: 3.5/5

Jennifer Ikeda again did a marvelous job with her narration. She does a great job with all of the voices, conveys emotion well in the intense scenes, and has a really pleasant voice. I am quite certain that I would not have enjoyed this book so much had I read it. For me, audio is the way to go with this series, I have no doubt.

Rating: 4.5/5

Overall Rating: 4/5

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Blogger Unknown said...

I was the same way with Girl of Fire and Thorns. Enjoyed it to an extent, but not really, and felt like I should have enjoyed it more. It seemed like everyone I knew that'd read it had loved that book while I thought it was just "meh." Lol. I wanted to love it though. :( Maybe I should give Crown of Embers a try after all since you had such a great experience and also had the same first book mishap as me. Fantastic review. I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)


October 24, 2012 at 3:56 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh good! I couldn't find anyone else who was meh about the first book and I was wondering what the heck was wrong with me for not being in love. This one was just ridiculous. I could not. stop. listening.


October 24, 2012 at 4:05 PM  
Blogger Gina @ My Precious said...

Ugh, I can't read this yet, haven't read the first book, but really want to. I wish there was more time in the day. :-)

October 24, 2012 at 4:22 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I am right there with you. As much reading as I do, I feel like I'm losing ground on my to-read list something fierce.

The first book was a bit rough for me, but this one made getting through it worthwhile!

October 24, 2012 at 4:25 PM  
Blogger Kayla Beck said...

I think I may read the treasure troll books since you've rated this second one so high. You know, since I love fantasy so much and all. I think we have the audiobooks at the library. *ponders*

Oh - great review (as usual)!

October 25, 2012 at 9:02 AM  
Blogger Wendy Darling said...

Uh oh, a broody guy with a soft center? I now regret giving away my ARC of this book, hah. I wasn't really into the first book either, but I know people rave about this series. It's nice that book two has turned you into a fan! Love it when that happens--it's rare, though.

Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

October 25, 2012 at 11:47 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Bahaha, treasure troll. Definitely go with the audio if you venture into this one!

October 25, 2012 at 1:59 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Going with the audio version definitely helped me. They had a good narrator and it helps make the characters more fun.

Oh, those broody men with soft centers. Delicious!

October 25, 2012 at 2:00 PM  
Blogger Kayla Beck said...

I love books that I would usually hate with audio. I love having stories told to me, no matter how terrible they are. It's how I "read" most of the classics. :-)

October 25, 2012 at 6:14 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Me too! A good narrator can save some bad stuff. :)

October 29, 2012 at 9:50 AM  
Anonymous Christina Kit. said...

LOVED how Elisa is self-aware in this one. And I really loved it as a story too:)

Awesome review:)

October 31, 2012 at 2:42 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I do like that Elisa's growing. She's much less obnoxious here. :)

November 1, 2012 at 3:21 PM  

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