Friday, August 24, 2012
Brilliant Short Prequel
When you read a story, sometimes there are characters who are important, but not enough to take center stage. They lack in development in order to keep the pace of the story, but are certainly the focus of intrigue. This is how I felt about Alodia, the crowned princess in Rae Carson's Girl of Fire and Thorns, and what made me so interested in this short prequel story, The Shadow Cats.
Alodia may be the crowned princess, the one who will run her kingdom someday, but her sister, her ineffectual, frumpy sister Elisa is the one everyone talks about because of her Godstone (given to her by God and will lead her to greatness). Alodia resents the undeserved attention Elisa is afforded, but that doesn't make her shirk her duties. When she travels to a distant province within her kingdom, she finds a town suffering a curse that leaves the ground unable to sustain a harvest and people on the verge of starvation. When the conde tells her a mystical jaguar is the carrier of the curse, Alodia has no time for rumors and superstition. She is a princess who isn't afraid to put away her skirts and travel into the thick jungle to save her people. Elisa might be chosen by God for greatness, but Alodia makes her own choices and she chooses greatness.
This was a phenomenal prequel story that really gave us a glimpse into the life of Alodia. I always wondered about this sister of Elisa, since Girl of Fire and Thorns was all about Elisa. Alodia bore the whole responsibility of her people, but Elisa was just handed the glory, she never earned anything. I think Carson did a good job by releasing this story to not only keep us biding our time for the next book in the series, but also to give us another perspective and more insight into the relationship between these two sisters. And although the story is about Alodia, the presence of Elisa makes you understand the girl and her Godstone even better! This is a must for anyone who started reading this series!