Hey guys! So last week’s Compare This! about Sarah J. Maas books was really popular and I had fun with it, so I thought I’d pick another to do! This time I picked two very awesome series by Rae Carson, The Gold Seer series and the Fire and Thorns series. So let’s see how they match up!
The Gold Seer Series
Fire and Thorns Series
The Gold Seer series
- It’s historical fiction with a fantasy twist, which is awesome. For those who get bored reading simple historical fictions, Lee’s power to “feel” where gold is gives an added excitement to the story. And if you are into historical stories, this has many truths to the Gold Rush.
- The danger/suspense feels super real. Lee is running from a murderer intent on using her powers for his own gain. You feel this danger throughout the entire series, even as the villain changes.
- The characters are awesome. Lee starts off the series as a runaway but she soon finds a quirky bunch to hang out with and, while she can’t trust everyone, she starts to find herself a new family.
- The love story is subtle. It’s a slow build and, in a world of YA books that have couples falling madly in love in 3 days, this was different.
- The stories are clever. Even when you can kind of predict what’s going to happen by the end, you can’t always figure out how it happens.
- I thought Lee’s magic could have been used more in the series. At times, it felt more like it was there in name but not actually present in the story. It was almost just a side note.
- Lee was sometimes forgettable. Her personality can be a bit bland at times and it’s sometimes hard to find something to dig your teeth into about her. (Um…that went from zero to vampire real quick…my apologies.)
- The large cast of characters sometimes makes it difficult to remember who is who, where they’re supposed to be, and what they’re supposed to be doing. The cast is so big there’s actually a list of who everyone is in each book to help keep everyone straight.
Fire and Thorns series
- It’s completely a fantasy story, so there are new kingdoms, magical powers, strange enemies, etc. And the world building for it is excellent.
- Elisa is an unlikely heroine. When we first meet her, she’s getting secretly wed to a king she doesn’t know. She’s mousy, terrified, and legitimately fat (which she admits because eating is a coping mechanism for her). But she undergoes a massive amount of character development throughout the series and it’s amazing.
- The books grip you quickly and you’ll soon find that you’ve been reading for eight hours and maybe didn’t even stop to eat. Or you continued reading while you ate. It’s that good.
- This also had a slow-build romance, one that will actually take you by surprise but also not. If that makes sense.
- I don’t have a better way to explain it than this, but this series is ballsy. There are many twists you never see coming because it goes places books don’t normally go. And I loved that.
- It’s actually an uplifting story for some of the strangest reasons, but all of us have been Elisa at some point (she’s scared, self-deprecating, and doesn’t usually know what to do). So watching her transform really makes you feel like you transformed too.
- I felt the series started to lose power by the last book. The first two were just so powerful as Elisa learned to navigate her new world and powers, and when she finally has it figured out, it then lacked some of the excitement I was drawn to.
- I thought the last book also became predictable and didn’t take as many chances as the first two books. Not that I didn’t still enjoy it, but you want the series to end on a high note, right? And for me, this wasn’t quite what I was hoping for.
My Winner: Fire and Thorns series
Why? Look, I’ve come to love high fantasy series and this was the series that did it for me. I was completely blown away by Elisa and her friends. Every book played out like a movie in my head and I just wanted more and more and more. All the time. I’ve read the books maybe twice and I can almost paint the scenes that I can see in my head because they are that vivid, even after all this time. It’s inventive, creative, and so much fun to read. Seriously, you will not see some of the twists coming.
And while historical fiction is probably my real wheelhouse, I just couldn’t pick it over the story that showed me how amazing fantasy can be. The Gold Seer series is still really good, don’t get me wrong, but it’s just not as good as Carson’s first series.