The Crown of Embers

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The second book in Rae Carson's award-winning The Girl of Fire and Thorns fantasy trilogy, perfect for fans of Game of Thrones and Kristin Cashore. Tamora Pierce called the first book, The Girl of Fire and Thorns, "A unique and engrossing read!" A seventeen-year-old princess turned war queen faces sorcery, adventure, untold power, and romance as she fulfills her epic destiny.

In The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Elisa won the war. She saved her kingdom. But no one prepared her for how hard it is to recover from a battle, or to rule a people who still don't trust her. She's still fighting—against assassination attempts and more—and her enemies lie both outside her court and within it. So Elisa will cross the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone's power. With her go a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with. A breathtaking, romantic, and dangerous second volume to Rae Carson's ambitious trilogy. Cinda Williams Chima proclaimed about the first book, The Girl of Fire and Thorns, "I LOVED this book!" and Veronica Roth agreed, saying, "Definitely recommended."

Curriculet Details
103 Questions
114 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in 7th grade, this free digital curriculum contains annotations explaining imagery, conflict and foreshadowing. It also contains interactive videos that support comprehension, such as videos about symbolism and tension. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to the subjects of duty, faith, and love. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

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Chapter 1

This novel is the sequel to The Girl of Fire and Thorns. Watch this book trailer and interview with Rae Carson for a quick refresher. (This annotation contains a video)
Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Since it's so easy to look up words, make sure you use this feature frequently... Is there a word on this page you need to look up? 
Why do people mostly want to kill Elisa? 
Elisa uses this example because a jerboa is a desert rodent living mostly in Africa and Asia (see picture below). (This annotation contains an image)
Even if they see things differently, Hector and Ximena are similar because they both want what above everything else? 
Watch the video below. Could Ximena's warning be an example of foreshadowing? What do you think is going to happen to Elisa in this novel? (This annotation contains a video)
There is damage from the battle with the Invierne and Perditos. Remember the scene from The Girl of Fire and Thorns when the animagi were trying to burn down the gate? There are marks left on Brisadulce from these and other attacks during the war. 
Elisa most likely looks longingly at the desert for all of the following reasons EXCEPT  
This description helps Elisa realize the man is 
Remember from the first book in the series that the animagi have powers to control people by freezing them in time. 
This visit from the animagus is not an attack, it is a warning of events to come if Elisa doesn't surrender. 
Who destroys the animagus? 

Chapter 2

Elisa's faith is one of the things she cherishes most. When in trouble, she always turns to God for His guidance. 
For her own protection, Elisa must conceal her identity from all of the following EXCEPT 
A blacksmith creates objects from iron and steel. Watch this short video below to see a blacksmith at work. (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the following best captures Elisa's feelings about Hector's protection? 
In this highlighted passage, Mara's words and actions reveal 
Even though Elisa is in danger, she's thinking about others (especially Prince Rosario, the heir to Joya d'Arena's throne). 
The young soldier informs Elisa of all of the following EXCEPT 
Below is a picture of a storm surge (a coastal flood). (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter 3

The Quorum is a group of five members who make decisions for the kingdom. 
How does Elisa's description of the Quorum chamber match her feelings about the Quorum meetings? 
Why would Elisa suggest the use of spies in dealing with the Inviernos? Give two details from this text or the previous text in your response. 
The word to describe the crowd's quickly changing opinions is fickle. The mob in Roman times was often described as fickle (e.g., changing their opinions about a gladiator from cheering for his victory to calling for his death). See picture below from the movie entitled Gladiator. (This annotation contains an image)
A regent is a person who rules a kingdom when the king or queen is not able to rule because he or she is sick, too young, etc. 
All of the following are suggestions during the Quorum meeting EXCEPT 
Watch the video below. (This annotation contains a video)
The idiom "clear your head" means to take a minute and relax so you can think clearly. Elisa needs to "clear her head" after the Quorum meeting and she asks to go to the catacombs alone. 
See photo below of a cobblestone street. (This annotation contains an image)
Watch this video clip featuring the famous travel expert, Rick Steves, in one of Rome's most famous catacombs. (This annotation contains a video)
Currently, which of the following words best describes the mood of Brisadulce? 
Explain what happens to Elisa while she's praying in the catacombs. Also in your answer, include a prediction of who you think is responsible for the act. 

Chapter 4

Elisa wakes up in a similar way like she did when she was kidnapped in The Girl of Fire and Thorns. However, Elisa is a much stronger person now. 
As Elisa awakens, she is most likely looking forward to seeing all of the following people EXCEPT 
This is a logical choice considering the animagus' appearance on Elisa's birthday and the conflict with Invierne. However, could there be another explanation? 
Which of the following injuries is Elisa most concerned about? 
This is yet another addition to Elisa's suspicions of General Luz-Manuel and his intentions. 
The idea of potential suitors wooing a princess or queen with gifts or their feats is common in many cultures. Watch this short clip from Disney's Brave. (This annotation contains a video)
Sedition is the crime of saying, writing, or doing something that encourages people to disobey their government. 
Why does Elisa believe Martin is innocent? 

Chapter 5

Watch the video below. The author includes many similes and metaphors throughout the novel. What do they add to your reading? (This annotation contains a video)
What is most likely the reason behind Dr. Enzo's peculiar behavior? 
Who is the witness Elisa is referring to? 
Elisa's response to the general fulfills which two goals? 
Often authors use dreams as a foreshadowing technique, but Carson uses dreams to include a type of flashback. Watch the video below. (This annotation contains a video)
Throughout the first few chapters, there have been many references to Hector's age and accompanying appearance. Thinking back to the first book, why do you think the author continually mentions Hector's youth? 
In Elisa's dream, Humberto's situation most closely parallels 
Notice the characters' changing moods as they descend into the catacombs. 
How does Elisa arrive at this conclusion? 

Chapter 6

Elisa's best asset continues to be her intelligence. She was right about a secret passageway in the catacombs. 
Why does Hector make this comment? 
Can you make a text-to-text connection to another novel or movie where a secret passageway is discovered? See the picture below from National Treasure where the characters unveil many secrets, including passages, rooms, and treasures. (This annotation contains an image)
Is the description of this village mostly similar to or different from the descriptions of Brisadulce? 
So far in this chapter, Elisa and her party are surprised by all of the following EXCEPT 
Watch the video below. What conflicts exist in the novel? Which ones are internal for Elisa and which ones are external in her court and kingdom? (This annotation contains a video)
Which text would Elisa be most interested in reading? 

Chapter 7

At the end of The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Elisa kept her promise and made Cosme ruler over Basajuan and its desert region. 
Ximena's careful study of the sacred texts to uncover additional information best displays 
Describe two things that strike Elisa about Mara's living quarters. Give specific details from the text. 
Elisa believed the old Godstones fulfilled their purpose when she placed the divine number in the amulet, but could there be more power deep within? 
Which of the following occupations best fits the role of Elisa's mayordomo? 
How does Cosme use Belen? 
What could be the meaning behind these two parallel incidents? 

Chapter 8

Ximena's protective side is evident in this paragraph. 
Why hasn't Elisa already thought of this option? Do you think Hector and Elisa would be a good match? 
Here, the crown is a symbol of power and royalty. Watch the video below to review symbols in literature.  (This annotation contains a video)
Elisa's crown does not properly fit her. What could this symbolize? 
What is revealed about Conde Eduardo in this passage? 
A herald is a person who conveys messages or proclamations (see picture below). (This annotation contains an image)
Conde Tristan tells Elisa he has heard all of the following about her EXCEPT 
Lord Hector analyzes the benefits to Elisa marrying Conde Tristan and he thinks she can do better. What are his objections? 
In this chapter, what is the significance of the name "Lo Chato?" 
Reread this passage. What is Storm actually saying? Do you think he truly supports Elisa's kingdom? 
What information can Hector confirm about Storm's identity? 

Chapter 9

Hector feels guilty about not being there to protect Elisa when she was hurt. 
What favor does Elisa ask Hector? 
Can you remember what moment Elisa is referring to from The Girl of Fire and Thorns? 
There are many books and movies where one character is being trained by another. Can you make any text-to-text connections? Watch the short clip below from Miss Congeniality where Sandra Bullock's character teaches the audience self defense. (This annotation contains a video)
Hector's line is an example of what we now call 

Chapter 10

An attache is a term for a staff person. In this instance, it's the herald Elisa was referring to earlier who introduced Conde Tristan. 
Conde Tristan's dinner conversation can best be characterized as  
Lady Jada's comment breaks the tender moment between Elisa and Hector. Do you think she does this on purpose? 
Starfruit is a unique fruit native to areas in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific (see photo below). (This annotation contains an image)
What happens to Iladro? 
Where else in the novel was Elisa called a tyrant (a cruel and oppressive ruler)? 
Quiz Chapters 1-10 

Chapter 11

Carefully look over Elisa's thoughts. How would you feel if you were in her position? 
Who first taught Elisa about the powers of the duerma plant? 
The idea of a "gate" is appearing in too many texts to be just a coincidence. 
Why does Elisa follow through with the punishment of her kitchen staff? 

Chapter 12

One of the most famous prison towers is the Tower of London in England (pictured below). (This annotation contains an image)
All of the following accompany Elisa to the prison tower to question Storm EXCEPT 
Who wants to kill Storm? 
If you recall back to The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Elisa noticed something moving beneath the earth when the animagus performed magic. Storms calls this force "zafira." 
Do you believe Hector's statement is true of Elisa? Why or why not? Give two details from the text to support your answer. 
What's happening between Elisa and Hector? 

Chapter 13

Why isn't Elisa able to comprehend the Scriptura Sancta tonight? 
With all of her responsibilities as queen, it's easy to forget that Elisa is a young woman who is inexperienced in many ways. 
What happened to Mara's love, Julio? 
Notice how Mara's words change from giddy while discussing lovers to the cold reality of a queen marrying to produce an heir (instead of marrying for love). 
Elisa discovers what important connection between Mara and Belen? 
Elisa's quick wit buys her some time to come up with an excuse to explain to the conde why she visited the prison tower. 
Hector takes an arrow in the back to protect Elisa. 
They are able to figure out that the attackers are mercenaries for all of the following reasons EXCEPT 
During this attack, who comes to Elisa's aid? 

Chapter 14

It's clear to Tristan that Elisa cares very deeply for the head of her Royal Guard. How would you describe Elisa's care for Hector? 
Dr. Enzo believes that Hector is going to die. It would take a miracle to save him. 
Describe what Elisa does in this scene. Give specific details from the text in your answer. 
Elisa finally admits to herself her love for Hector. She was willing to sacrifice herself to save him. This is a true act of love, just like he saved her. 
Why does Elisa most likely travel to the monastery? 
Why is the trio willing to believe Lucero's story? 
A quest is a heroic adventure with a specific mission or purpose. Elisa calls it "nebulous" because it is an uncertain quest (they don't have much information to go on). 
What do you think Elisa will decide to do? 

Chapter 15

A gala is a type of festival and/or ball. There is much excitement getting ready for the Deliverance Gala, but Elisa has many things on her mind. Watch the video clip from Frozen as Anna prepares for her sister's coronation. Does Elisa feel more like Anna or Elsa? (This annotation contains a video)
The description of the item Ximena has made to protect Elisa sounds similar to a modern 
Why does Elisa give her servants gifts? 
Elisa compares all three of the men she's loved or cared about. They have all been so different. 
Cite two examples from the text explaining how Queen Elisa's new crown suits her. 
How does Elisa begin the gala? 
Earlier in the novel, Hector tells Elisa about his misgivings regarding a potential marriage to Conde Tristan. Now he seems to support the union. What has changed? 
Elisa is starting to believe that Tristan is not being sincere. What clues suggest that his similar interests to Elisa might be forced? 
Elisa's feelings toward the woman speaking with Hector can best be described as  
During the gala, Elisa enjoys dancing with all of the following EXCEPT 

Chapter 16

Reread this passage about the night bloomers. They are hard to manage, but their beauty is rare and only seen for a few hours at night. Could this be a metaphor for anyone in the novel? 
Elisa is shocked when she catches Conde Tristan with 
Watch the video below. Elisa is so excited to hear from her family, and then she reads about Alodia's interest in her love, Hector. (This annotation contains a video)
Why doesn't Elisa just tell Alodia the truth? 

Chapter 17

Ximena has a talent for matching Elisa's _______________ to her mood. 
Pay close attention to Elisa's proposal to Conde Tristan. What is she up to? 
Why does Elisa make this deal with Tristan? 
Remember that Elisa and Rosario formed a quick and deep bond in The Girl of Fire and Thorns. Elisa was stern with him, but never broke her promises. The young prince was often neglected by his father so her promises meant a lot to him, and they still do. Rosario completely trusts Elisa. 
For her own safety, Elisa is not in the queen's carriage and instead is dressed like 
How does Elisa feel as she travels farther away from Brisadulce? 
Watch the video below. Notice the words Hector uses to describe his home. (This annotation contains a video)
The idea of motion memory is why people say you never forget how to ride a bicycle once you've learned. Read this short article from NPR about muscle memory. Can you think of any activity you haven't done in awhile, but you're able to quickly resume? (This annotation contains a link)
Why does Hector believe their caravan is being followed? 
These lines that Belen repeats come from the Bible in the story of Ruth (she says these words of loyalty to her mother-in-law, Naomi). Listen to the song "Whither Thou Goest I Will Go" which is based off of this Bible story. (This annotation contains a video)
Why does Elisa agree to Hector's request? 

Chapter 18

From all of this information, Belen is able to deduce that these five men are not desert nomads, but most likely sent by Conde Eduardo to follow the caravan. Does this seem plausible to you or do you think they're there for another reason? 
Humberto had confidence in Elisa's potential long before many others. Who else always had faith in Elisa? 
Once again, Hector and Ximena argue over how to best protect Elisa. 
Explain two challenges the climate of Joya d'Arena creates for the Inviernos. 
What is Storm's reaction to Elisa's description of the man following them? 
Elisa realizes the conde's men might not after all be following her. It's possible that they are after Storm. Think back to Conde Eduardo's interest in the prisoner in the tower. Elisa never gave him a straight answer. What do you think? 
Why does the caravan's plans change? 

Chapter 19

Perhaps this is the reason for Ximena's looks when Elisa and Hector are speaking. But then why did Ximena suggest Hector as a potential suitor in the first place? 
Elisa cannot bring herself to tell Hector her true feelings so instead she 
See the painting below of a port in Salem, Massachusetts during the 1770's. (This annotation contains an image)
Watch the video below. Notice the tension within Elisa: she loves traveling like a nomad, but she is a queen and in danger. What other tensions can you identify in the text? (This annotation contains a video)
This is an example of a idiom. It means Elisa surprised Hector. Other idioms, or figures of speech, include "raining cats and dogs" or "hold your horses." These phrases are not mean to be taken literally. 
Why does Elisa most likely not select Father Alentin as one of the five? 
These are the four companions Elisa has selected for her quest, and she makes five (the divine number). 
Why does Tristan climb into bed with decoy Elisa? 

Chapter 20

Elisa wants to create chaos to distract Franco and his men. The more people there are around, the harder it is to kill their target. 
Right now, Elisa is in  
Remember that Elisa's Godstone turns cold when she's in danger. She can warm herself by praying, but she fears Franco will sense the Godstone so she remains quiet and cold. 
What does Belen do when he disappears? 
Do you think this is one of Elisa's failings? Does she depend on the people around her too much? 
Elisa has to weigh the consequences and even though she feels very guilty about the fire and leaving her companions in danger, she also understands the importance of her mission. 
What does Elisa realize about Hector and Belen? 
Quiz Chapters 11-20 

Chapter 21

A caravel was a sailing ship used by the Portuguese during the 15th and 16th centuries (see picture below). (This annotation contains an image)
Who is the captain of the Aracely? 
Captain Felix has a ship full of cargo ready to be sold at port. Do you think Elisa can persuade him to change his sailing orders? 
A vintner is a seller of wine. This means that in Elisa's kingdom Ventierra will be the wine of choice. Imagine the demand it will cause! 
Captain Felix agrees to Elisa's bargain without asking where they're going. What does this mostly reveal about his character? 

Chapter 22

What news relieves Elisa? 
It is a common practice throughout centuries for ships to be named after women. Some believe feminine names were selected to symbolize a mother protecting her child (a.k.a. bringing the ship safely home). 
What opportunity did Hector pass up to be the head of Elisa's Royal Guard? What was his reasoning? 
Elisa being guided by the Godstone is similar to Captain Jack Sparrow being led by his compass. Watch the clip below from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. (This annotation contains a video)
After finding the zafira, Hector will be faced with a choice to go home or 
Until this point, Elisa has not admitted her feelings for Hector to anyone. 
Their intimate talks display that Mara can best be categorized as Elisa's  

Chapter 23

Take this quiz to test your knowledge of the parts of a ship. (This annotation contains a link)
What could be causing the storm? 
Why does Hector add these words? 
Reread this section. Notice the shift between the first paragraph and the next two. Why does Elisa do this? 
What does Elisa want Captain Felix to have? 

Chapter 24

Can you think of another book or movie where the characters face a deadly obstacle like a storm? What was the outcome? 
Why does Hector stop Elisa from confessing her love? 
What is the purpose of the lady's shroud? Why does Elisa take it now? 
In addition to everything else, the crew of the Aracely also has to survive the attacks of 
Their fate appears to be sealed and everyone sends up their last prayers to God. He is their only hope. 
What saves them from the storm? 

Chapter 25

A seagull is a promising symbol to sailors because it means that land is near (see photo below). (This annotation contains an image)
What is Mara's first concern? 
In order to heal Mara, Elisa must focus on 
There are limitations to Elisa's new found powers of healing. 
_________________ suffered the most damage during the storm. 
What do you predict they will encounter on the island? 

Chapter 26

Elisa gives the crew orders like an experienced queen. 
When Elisa says this, she is referring to 
The crown made it through the storm unharmed, just like Elisa. 
Hector's behavior can best be described as 
This scene highlights the building tension between Elisa and Hector.  
Hector wants a love and a marriage like his parents. He wants to be an equal partner with his future wife. Is this an unreasonable request? 
Why does Hector turn down Elisa's request? 

Chapter 27

The picture below is of a small grove of acacia trees in Africa. Acacia trees grow in tropical and subtropical areas. Their parts are used for various purposes including timber. (This annotation contains an image)
Storm figures out that Elisa is about to do what? 
Lichen is a type of fungus (see picture below). (This annotation contains an image)
How does Storm know which way to go? 
Throughout both novels, Elisa has participated in the sacrament with the thorns. Do you think her pricking her finger is just a coincidence? 
Describe two things Elisa and Storm discover in the valley. Give specific details from the text in your answer. 

Chapter 28

The gatekeeper wears manacles (shackles) around his ankles (see picture below). What does this mean about his appointment as gatekeeper? (This annotation contains an image)
What is the gatekeeper like? Is he similar or different to what you expected? Provide text-based details in your description of the gatekeeper. 
Examine the author's use of imagery here. Can you picture this setting? 
Storm quickly realizes that they have stepped right into the gatekeeper's 
Elisa realizes her powers help her to create, not destroy. Earlier in the chapter, Storm says it is the most difficult kind of magic. 
Elisa becomes a sorcerer because of the sacrifice of 

Chapter 29

Why does Elisa take some of the Godstones? 
What does Elisa have to give up to save Storm? 
Do you think Elisa makes the right decision? Why or why not? 
Hector has not changed his answer from a few chapters ago when he denied Elisa's advances. He is a very principled man. 

Chapter 30

From the first few paragraphs, it appears that the purpose of this chapter is to most likely release which of the following literary terms? 
Elisa is able to quickly connect the dots. Her suspicions of Conde Eduardo and General Luz-Manuel's intentions are confirmed. Would all of this still have happened if Elisa never granted independence to Cosme and her eastern region? 
Who is this threatening voice? 
The Inviernos cleverly used Elisa's own people against her (like Conde Eduardo) to weaken her kingdom. The war with Invierne never ended. 
Why does Elisa send Ximena away? 
There is no time for Elisa to rest between missions. She is now headed to rescue her fiancee from her enemies. 
Quiz Chapters 21-30