Parents' Guide to

The Empire of Dreams

By Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Girl of Fire and Thorns spin-off offers a new fab girl hero.

Book Rae Carson Fantasy 2020
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Set in the world of The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, this spin-off offers a resilient female hero who overcomes child abuse, sexism, and racism to kick some serious butt and save a kingdom. Author Rae Carson always delivers great female heroes, both Elisa in the Girl of Fire and Thorns series and Lee in the lauded Gold Seer Trilogy. Red comes from the humblest of backgrounds -- an abused enslaved girl who will suffer PTSD the rest of her life. Flashback chapters show her painful struggle and her amazing fortune to be purchased and freed by an empress and made her ward. As the story in the present unfolds, readers see how her past struggles prepare her for life in the barracks as the ultimate outsider.

The Empire of Dreams isn't just a character study, though. Tension builds as people around Prince Rosario are poisoned and the recruits realize their training regimen is a sham. Mysteries mount, spies pass secret messages in the mess hall, and characters race through secret passageways to find answers before it's too late to save the kingdom from danger. Readers will rush through the second half of the book as the pieces begin to fit together and wish there was more story when The Empire of Dreams comes to a close.

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