Wow. What a ride of emotions this book took me on. I didn't, however, LOVE this book, but I really did enjoy it.
Follow our main protagonist, Elisa, a young princess, who is married off to a neighboring kingdom and its king. There, Elisa must find the strength to fit in and become the leader these foreign people expect her to be, until she's kidnapped. Not because she's a princess, but because she is the bearer of the mystical Godstone.
Her kidnappers believe she can save them from their enemy, who wield powerful, dark magic that Elisa must discover a way to thwart, else, not just her newfound allies, but her kingdom will be at great risk if she cannot unlock the true power of her own Godstone. She's been chosen for greatness, but will she rise to the choosing?
I'll start by saying, the reason I didn't give this book five stars is because it took a while for me to get into this book. But once Elisa was kidnapped, things just took off from their.
The greatest aspect of this tale relies on the large cast of characters. Rae did an amazing job giving each character their own individual personality and goals. They felt real, and I loved every single one of them. Including the bad guys. And I really loved Elisa especially.
She's not your typical, white, skinny heroine we see in most YA novels these days. Actually, this is the first book I've come across with an overweight heroine. She wrestles with a weight problem and eating disorder, things a lot of us can relate to. And even though what she lacks in beauty, she makes up for it with brawns and brains! Finally, a heroine who doesn't need to be saved. Well, not all the time. She very smart, and she uses that knowledge to its greatest potential.
*Minor spoil* There's one scene where negotiations with a certain traitor didn't go as planned, so what does Elisa do? Well, she uses her observations skills as a resource. Before, she notices that the traitor has boots loaded with daggers. We as a reader think nothing of that at the time but for added description for the character. So, to get in close enough to kill him, she grovels at his feet, and I know right then, remembering the daggers in his boots, what she plans. She gets a gold star for that sly move. That was just awesome, because I totally forgot about the daggers!
The romance in this novel is to DIE for. It's beautiful and tragic all entwined in one. I'll not say more. Finally, some romance that isn't insta-love and happens naturally.
The only nitpick besides the slow beginning was the final battle at the end. It just didn't meet my expectations. I thought it was kinda silly how it played out in my mind. And I'm still warming up to the idea of the Godstone. Not because it's a magical, precious stone. But because of where it's located on her body. It lives in her navel. That idea just seems odd to me, for some reason, but I ignored it for the sake of the story.
All in all, I do recommend this novel, but be warned, there is a lot of religious aspects and a God in this fantasy world. It's a lot like our world in a way, only with a hispanic feel and the religion reminds me of a spin-off of Roman Catholic. If praying and things like that bother you, than don't read this. I gave this story 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.