The Girl of Fire and Thorns: First Impressions

I’m recapping a new book, so you know what that means: my first impressions and a cover comparison! This post is image heavy and borderline NSFW (thanks, French cover!) so read more under the cut.

Last year, after my epic notetaking of the back half of Avalon: Web of Magic but before the sudden “OMG I GOT INTO GRAD SCHOOL AND CLASSES START NEXT WEEK ARGH!” I lurked around Goodreads trying to find new sci-fi and fantasy books to read. Most of the stuff I had tagged as “recap bait” I found and read during that period.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns was the first of those books I read, and I was pretty impressed by it. It reminded me of some of the books that got me into sci-fi and fantasy when I was younger, especially Dune (chosen one in the desert!) and the Tortall books (female protagonist trying to find her place in the world!). I wasn’t in love with the main character, but I was surprised by many of the decisions she made in the book. Oh, and I admired that the author didn’t make romance the main focus of the book, and that she was willing to kill off major characters. So expect a lot of “OH NO WAY I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT HAPPENED” throughout my recap.

American cover
Since this book has a number of international editions, I’m going to do my usual cover comparison bit. First off is the American cover, which doesn’t reveal much. There’s a blue jewel with a girl’s face inside it, and it’s surrounded by thorny bushes. So I guess we should expect to see a girl, a blue gem, and lots of thorny bushes in this book. Oh, and look at that – there’s a choice quote from Tamora Pierce. I guess my comparison to the Tortall books wasn’t far off.

ARC cover
Next up is the ARC cover, which has a girl in the desert. Major spoiler: THIS IS NOT AT ALL HOW THE MAIN CHARACTER LOOKS LIKE. More details to come with my first chapter recap. But hey, we now know there’ll be a girl and a desert in this book.

British cover
And our last English cover comes straight from England, where the book’s just called Fire and Thorns. We got ourselves a lot of desert, a walled city, a caravan, and a girl in very desert-appropriate garb. No sparkly blue rocks, though. Tiny spoiler: THIS IS THE MOST ACCURATE DEPICTION OF OUR PROTAGONIST ON ANY OF THESE COVERS.

German cover
On to some foreign covers! Here’s the German one, which features a blue jewel on fire, a palace in a desert, and a girl on horseback. Again, we should expect deserts, girls, and blue jewels – but this time there’s fire! Also, the German title translates to The Firestone. So I guess the jewel produces fire or something.

French cover
The French cover almost crosses into NSFW territory, but it’s the only one that reveals that the blue jewel is in the girl’s navel. So I guess we’re dealing with a race of Treasure Trolls? This has gotten kinda interesting. The title translates to The Daughter of Embers and Brambles, which is close to the English title.

Spanish cover
Way to be boring, Spanish cover. All we get is a hazel-eyed girl. Great. Your translated title is equally boring: it’s The Girl of Fire and Hawthorn. I expected something more awesome for a Spanish- / Portuguese- / Filipino-influenced setting.

Turkish cover
Turkish cover, you’re kinda boring, too. There’s a girl dressed in red surrounded by thorns. And you just directly translated the British title.

Italian cover
Now, Italian cover, you’ve made this book look more bad-ass, but the main character is never equipped with a sword in this series. (Spoiler: she’s more like a D&D cleric.) At least the translation of the title is kinda cool: The Fire and the Rose. Roses are actually pretty important in this book. So nice job sticking that in there.

So, here’s what you should expect from my recap:

  • Translations of every Spanish word!
  • Me trying to recreate a fantasy language!
  • Two way-out-there theories about the setting!
  • Shocking character deaths!
  • A bad attempt at making a world map! (Because fantasy books these days don’t seem to come with maps anymore….)
  • Descriptions of food!

Next time: A protagonist tries on a dress. A wedding takes place. Many anchovies are eaten.
Credit where it’s due: all covers are from Goodreads.



    1. Sadly, I think this this book is the only one that comes with a wide selection of covers. I couldn’t find foreign covers for the later books other than the British ones.

  1. Ooooooo, you’re making this sound much cooler now. :3 I look forward to the recaps. ^-^

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