Sunday, June 2, 2013

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Short stories are awesome.  They give us in-depth insight into characters, providing anecdotal proof of why some characters are they way they are.  They entertain by creating a certain mood or focusing on a singular effect...some instance in a previous body of work (or one to follow) that might have been glossed over or ignored completely in a longer novel. 

And so, every Sunday for the foreseeable future, I would like to highlight short stories and novellas set in worlds I've already come to love and learn a little more about some of the secondary characters in my favorite novels.  I'll be underscoring some of my favorite aspects of these short works of fiction, in addition to offering up a mini review of each work.

This week I'm featuring a prequel story from the Fire and Thorns world:

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Title: The Shattered Mountain
Author: Rae Carson
Series: Fire and Thorns, book #0.6
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: March 26, 2013
Source: purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

On the outskirts of Joya d'Arena, small villages fight for survival against the onslaught of sorcerers and raiders. Mara's village has been safe--so far--but Mara decides to escape anyway. Escape from her harsh, abusive father. Escape with her first love. But when their plans fall on the same day that the animagi burn the village to the ground, Mara faces losses that could destroy her. She's a survivor, though. She is going to make it through the mountains, and she is going to protect the refugees following her. Because there's a rumored safe haven . . . and some say they have found the Chosen One.

Told from Mara's point-of-view, The Shattered Mountain is an alternate perspective of the beginning of the acclaimed The Girl of Fire and Thorns.

In the same way that I didn't think I'd like reading Alodia's story in The Shadow Cats, I was hesitant to read Mara's story in The Shattered Mountain.  But that Rae Carson is a freaking genius.  She draws me into each girl's story, whether I initially wanted to be there or not.

Mara always seemed like such a strong young woman, like she was a survivor, despite how reserved and quiet she was.  And after reading The Shattered Mountain, I know why.  This girl has been through hell and made it out alive.  And Mara has the scars to prove it.  Unfortunately, with this being a prequel story, we already know she's going to suffer more before she gets anything resembling a happy ending.  If she even gets never know with that Rae Carson.  She has a habit of maiming or killing any character you even look at twice.

But that's what I love about this series.  It's so completely unpredictable.  You never know what's around the next turn, so you'd best just stop guessing now.  I, uh, couldn't help myself once I read this novella and had to immediately pick up my galley of The Bitter Kingdom, and even knowing how it all ends, I'm still in shock.  There's just so much to take in.  I highly recommend this series, even to those who aren't big on fantasy.  It's truly one of my favorite YA fantasy series...ever.  I'm sad that it's over, but at least we get one more novella before all is said and done...and it's from Hector's point-of-view!!!

**You don't have to read any of the prequel novellas, but you totally should.**

Rating:   photo 4-1.png

the Fire & Thorns series
The Shadow Cats (Fire and Thorns, #0.5)The Shattered Mountain (Fire and Thorns, #0.6)The King's Guard (Fire and Thorns, #0.7)
The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2)The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns, #3)

About the author:

I write books about teens who must do brave things. I'm originally from California, but I moved to Ohio to marry my husband, who is the smartest and therefore sexiest man I know. We live in Columbus with my teenaged stepsons, who are awesome. My books tend to contain lots of adventure, a little magic and romance, and smart girls who make (mostly) smart choices. I especially love to write about questions I don't know the answers to.

Find Rae:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

1 comment:

  1. The Girl of Fire and Thorns has been on my to-read list for forever! I need to pick it up, as fantasy is one of my favorite genres. And now that I know that there are novellas that look just as stunning, I am itching for all the books!

    Emily @ Counting in Bookcases


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