“Fire” by Kristin Cashore (2009)
Genre: YA, Fiction, Fantasy
Page Length: 461 pages (paperback edition)
It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. The young King Nash clings to his throne while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. The mountains and forests are filled with spies and thieves and lawless men.
This is where Fire lives. With a wild, irresistible appearance and hair the color of flame, Fire is the last remaining human monster. Equally hated and adored, she had the unique ability to control minds, but she guards her power, unwilling to steal the secrets of innocent people. Especially when she has so many of her own.
Then Prince Brigan comes to bring her to King City, The royal family needs her help to uncover the plot against the king. Far away from home, Fire begins to realize there’s more to her power than she ever dreamed. Her power could save the kingdom.
If only she weren’t afraid of becoming the monster her father was. (description from Goodreads)
My initial reaction going into the second book of the Graceling Realm series is that it wasn’t as good as the first novel. Whereas in the first book I was immediately drawn into the story, Fire took me a bit longer to get aquainted with the characters and truly enjoy the plot. After a better understanding of where the story was headed, I thought the book was really entertaining.
I was also equally disappointed that in the second novel we don’t get to hear about the “ever after” lives of Po and Katsa. Fire, acts more like a prequel to the first novel and takes us back in time to explain how the Graceling universe was in the past. In this new story we are introduced to Fire who is our very strong, confident female protagonist. Even though she’s not entirely “human”, we as readers get to see her softer side. The novel is in set in the same world but set in new landscapes with new creatures such as various “monsters” and raptors, which I thought was pretty cool.
The story progression is smooth and the characters develop and grow in their own ways. The book is also action packed just like the first novel and the ending ties up all the loose ends pretty well.
Looking forward to reading Bitterblue (book #3). This sequel deosn’t disappoint! 4 out of 5 stars!