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* The Girl of Fire and Thorns
Rae Carson. HarperCollins/Greenwillow, $17.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-06-202648-4
Carson debuts with a smart, complex fantasy with stellar characters, first in a planned trilogy. Even though she bears the mysterious and rare Godstone, 16-year-old Princess Elisa has been a disappointment to her family and country. Plain, overweight, and unmotivated, she is content to wed a handsome neighboring king to cement an alliance. After an arduous journey to her new home, Elisa arrives to find that her husband wants to keep their status hidden. But there are more pressing concerns--the enemy is preparing to invade, and …