The Crown of Embers

The Crown of Embers - Rae Carson 4.5 StarsI can't believe I waited so long to finally read this book. It's not like I didn't like the first one, cause I did. I'm so glad this one held up to the first one and I'm fervently hoping that Bitter Kingdom holds up it's predecessors.I'm going to start off by mentioning the things that annoyed me with this book. Get the slightly negative stuff out of the way first. First off is Elisa's insecurities with her body/image...still...This was a sore point in the first one and after Elisa having gone through the ordeals she did and ended up getting skinny, I thought it would have boosted her self esteem enough that it wouldn't be a problem. It still was, but not to the degree of the first book. I usually don't mind this kind of stuff, but it was just the way it's done that rubbed me the wrong way. I couldn't just simply dismiss it this time.Next up was how much I didn't like how Elisa let the Conde and the General maneuver her like that and just stomp all over her without some kind of lashing back. I mean we are talking about Elisa here! She is supposed to be super smart, and she is, but that beginning was not doing her any favors, but then again, I guess that was the point of this book. She needed to realize that she could rule without having to have the full power of the Godstone with her. She just needed herself.I think that's pretty much it with things I didn't like/annoyed me. There really weren't many. I liked how Belén is back and in Elisa's good graces. How we got to see some of Father Alentín, even if he wasn't able to join the adventure in this book. But most of all I liked Storm actually. Yes, the Invierno guy. Who would have thought xD I just loved how he was always so straight up with everything and yet at the same time very sneaky and still keeping his cards close to his chest. He is a complex character and I was SOO glad for what happened at the end. But really, the best part of the whole book was when Elisa finally told Ximena off. Omg I was so damn happy! Was screaming YESSS at my kindle when it happened. I couldn't stand Ximena the whole bloody time! Always in Elisa's business way more than necessary, and her whole God fanaticism behavior wasn't helping at all either.And of course there is the romance between Elisa and Hector...Ah...Hector...He is so noble and just good, but still very much a guy. "I told you I wouldn't let it interfere with my work. But every time you smile at me, and especially when you look at me the way you're looking at me right now, everything disappears." His thumb sweeps across my bottom lip, down my chin. His voice is low and dark as he says, "When it happens, I'm not guarding you anymore. Your enemy could come up behind me, and I would never know, because all I'm thinking about is how badly I want you."I wanted to strangle Elisa in the beginning for being so utterly clueless, but she got a clue quickly enough, thank god xD And that scene with them at the beach was beautiful!! "Don't you see, Elisa? I love you the way a drowning man loves air. And it would destroy me to have you just a little."So yeah, if you haven't read this series yet, get on with it already!