Audiobook Review: The Crown of Embers

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Audiobook Review: The Crown of EmbersThe Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
Narrator: Jennifer Ikeda
Length: 11 hrs, 41 mins
Series: Fire and Thorns #2
Published by Harper Audio on September 18, 2012
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Romance
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher

She does not know what awaits her at the enemy's gate.

Elisa is a hero.

She led her people to victory over a terrifying, sorcerous army. Her place as the country's ruler should be secure. But it isn't.

Her enemies come at her like ghosts in a dream, from foreign realms and even from within her own court. And her destiny as the chosen one has not yet been fulfilled.

To conquer the power she bears, once and for all, Elisa must follow a trail of long-forgotten - and forbidden - clues, from the deep, hidden catacombs of her own city to the treacherous seas. With her go a one-eyed spy, a traitor, and the man whom - despite everything - she is falling in love with.

If she's lucky, she will return from this journey. But there will be a cost.

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.

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.

12 responses to “Audiobook Review: The Crown of Embers”

  1. 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! 🙂


    • Christina says:

      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.


  2. 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. 🙂

    • Christina says:

      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!

  3. Kayla Beck says:

    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)!

  4. 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

    • Christina says:

      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!

  5. Christina Kit. says:

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

    Awesome review:)

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