Picking up where The Girl of Fire and Thorns left off, The Crown of Embers is a good choice for teen girls who enjoy a mix of fantasy, adventure, and romance. While it is not absolutely necessary to read the books in order, readers who do will have a greater appreciation for how much confidence seventeen-year-old Elisa has gained. Still not a particularly strong queen, Elisa continues to evolve over the course of this story, learning valuable lessons about relying on the power that is already within her and being guided by her own moral compass. She is loyal to her friends and family, and strives live up to the honor of the godstone. In times of anguish, Elisa turns to prayer and spiritual texts for comfort and guidance. The story involves a bit of violence as Elisa is the target of several assassination attempts. An impossible romance develops between Elisa and the commander of her Royal Guard, which helps keep the pages turning as their feelings for one another are slowly revealed. She takes an herb to prevent pregnancy, but the two never become intimate. Fans of this story will be eager to read the final installment in the trilogy as this one ends with quite a cliff hanger.