A post at Greenwillow Books about women, weight, and The Girl of Fire and Thorns:
...it occurred to me that some people in Elisa’s world might be unable to see past her body to her accomplishments and personal growth. So, for instance, without knowing Elisa at all, her maid finds her unworthy of being the chosen one, and despises her. And later, when (minor spoiler . . . ) Elisa loses some weight, a certain man finds her attractive for the first time—but is unable to acknowledge that she has become a great leader in her own right.
One sees her as fat. One sees her as beautiful. Neither can see beyond her outward appearance to the truth of who Elisa really is.
Titles I've written about:
The Girl of Fire and Thorns (2011):
I WAS SO INTO IT THAT I FORGOT TO EAT BREAKFAST.
Elisa is (obviously) a captivating narrator. She's down on herself in some ways, but always Steps Up when it matters. She's read everything there is to read about the Art of Battle, but she's lacking in life experience and confidence. She's imperfect, utterly believable, and I loved her from page one.
The Crown of Embers (2012):
Everything that I loved about The Girl of Fire and Thorns is here: the world-building, the characters, the action and the romance. The magic in this world is steeped in religion, and Elisa’s faith in God continues to be hugely important to her—but she never preaches to anyone, and never judges others for differing beliefs. I’m also extremely happy to report that The Crown of Embers does NOT suffer from middle-book-in-a-trilogy-itis (AKA Second Book Syndrome).
The Bitter Kingdom (2013):
If you're a fan of epic fantasy a la Robin McKinley's Damar books and Kristin Cashore's Seven Kingdoms books—stories that have fabulous world-building complete with fully-realized cultures, religious traditions, and political systems; strong heroines who see more than their fair share of combat, are forced to brave the elements and travel long distances over deadly terrain, who have to learn to look past their own insecurities and see themselves as others do: as leaders—then you absolutely should not miss Rae Carson's books.