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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Fire by Kristin Cashore

Fire (The Seven Kingdoms Trilogy, #2)
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Copyright: 2009

Pages: 352

Rating: 5 Crowns


Fire, Graceling's prequel-ish companion book, takes place across the mountains to the east of the seven kingdoms, in a rocky, war-torn land called the Dells.

Beautiful creatures called monsters live in the Dells. Monsters have the shape of normal animals: mountain lions, dragonflies, horses, fish. But the hair or scales or feathers of monsters are gorgeously colored-- fuchsia, turquoise, sparkly bronze, iridescent green-- and their minds have the power to control the minds of humans.

Seventeen-year-old Fire is the last remaining human-shaped monster in the Dells. Gorgeously monstrous in body and mind but with a human appreciation of right and wrong, she is hated and mistrusted by just about everyone, and this book is her story.

Wondering what makes it a companion book/prequel? Fire takes place 30-some years before Graceling and has one cross-over character with Graceling, a small boy with strange two-colored eyes who comes from no-one-knows-where, and who has a peculiar ability that Graceling readers will find familiar and disturbing...


After the awesome debut that was Graceling, I wanted to get my hands on anything that was Kristin Cashore. And the wait for Fire was well worth it. Fire is the prequel to Graceling, in that is set 30 years before and has one cross over character that you’ll recognize at once. The book is based in the lands beyond the Seven Kingdoms, where there are creatures called monsters who are beautifully coloured and can mesmerize you. Fire is the last of the human monsters, but one who understands the effect of her beauty on others, and who understands the difference between right and wrong.

The book is based in a land at war with its neighbours and a kingdom shaped by the late king, and his trusted advisor Cansrel, who was Fire's father. Fire tries to use her monster powers to help with the war when asked. She struggles to use her powers now, when she's been trying not to all this while, and the attraction she feels for the king’s brother isn’t helping.

This book, for me, was a lot better than Graceling, and I absolutely loved Graceling. It is a lot more mature, and I felt it covered a lot more emotions and situations. Each character has its own distinct personality, and you'll feel for all of them. Nash, the weak-minded king smitten by Fire; Brigan his stoic brother; Brocker, the man who brought up Fire and Archer, her first lover and friend. I loved em all.

I loved Fire as a character. Gorgeous in body, she was gorgeous in mind as well. She cared about those around her, and despite the brave face she showed the world, had her own little insecurities. Cashore has created a breathtaking world, with vivid characters and an even paced storyline. You will feel a part of this book while reading it, and live through all of Fire's experiences. You'll love the time with Brigan, and your heart will go out to Archer.

Go. Read.


Visit Karyn at her blog Slip Carefully


brizmus said...

Wait, Fire is the name of the character?
I can't believe how absolutely amazing your review makes this book sound. I'm thinking I've got to check out Kristin Cashore.

Blodeuedd said...

Great review, but I was so disappointed by Graceling so no :(

fredamans said...

I love the review. This sounds like a book I would thoroughly enjoy!

Erika said...

I liked this one better than Graceling, too! I can't wait for the third. :)

fantasylover12001 said...

You've made my need to read this book even worse ;) but I'm trying to save shelf space and money so will sadly have to wait for the paperback version.

Tara SG said...

I don't know if I loved it more than Graceling... but I still loved Fire.

Great review!

Tara SG (25 Hour Books)

Arya said...

GREAT REVIEW!!! I absolutely agree. This book is one of my faves.

Alaine - Queen of Happy Endings said...

I loved Graceling and then I read Fire. It was absolutely my favourite read, such an excellent fantasy story!

K said...

I loved both books, but Fire had that something extra - her characters were more vulnerable and felt emotions it was easier to identify with than in Graceling.

Although if there was a competition i'm sure Po (Hero from Graceling) would win over Brigan (Hero from Fire)

I'll go back to dreaming of Po now...