Author: Kristin Cashore
Publisher: Penguin Group
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...
Overall: 5+ stars
I hate this feeling. I hate it, hate it, HATE IT!
And, yet, I love it at the same time.
It’s that feeling you get right after you’ve read such a wonderful book. One that has made you laugh and smile and cry and truly care and love for every single word that was written on its pages. It’s that awe-struck feeling that has your heart swelling with the love and loss of the characters you’re just read.
It’s the feeling when you reach the end of the story and just want to scream “I LOVE THIS BOOK! I LOVE IT!” And it’s the feeling when you reach the end of the story to know that the journey is over and that there are no more words to read.
That is the feeling I have right now. I’m in a state of bliss after reading this book, I loved it so immensely and, yet, my heart is breaking at the thought that I’ve read it all. That the adventure I loved so dearly is over.
There are very few books that have made me feel like this, for example the last Harry Potter book. I call it the Bitter-Sweet syndrome and I’m infected, bad.
The story Fire is about a girl named Fire with astonishing beauty, flaming hair, and the power to control people’s minds. The book takes place in a fantasy world called The Dells. In this world there are terrible mind controlling monster that roam everywhere. They are mostly animal monsters, all colored unnatural colors such as green and violet, but Fire is the last living human monster and she is feared, hated, and loved all over the land of The Dells.
Fire is one of the main reasons why this was such an amazing book. She was strong and brave, yet emotional and valuable at times, which did not lessen her as a character at all because I’d rather read of a character who was both closed off at moments and wide open at others than someone who is blocks themselves away from everyone and shares no emotion. Fire is at times complex but from her position where she has people wanting to kill her, use her, and control her I think she has the right to be quite the complex character.
The writing of the book was done so beautifully, it sucked me into the world of monsters and mind control and wars and love. I felt as if this world could truly be out there; that this book was in fact an ancient lost part of the world’s history and Cashore had been gifted with the knowledge of a part of the past that was unknown to the rest of the world and wrote it down for us to read. This type of history would be SO much more interesting to read about than what is in my history textbooks.
The characters are also so alive. I love Archer with his incredible skill and charm even though he might have been a player and my heart aches for him. I love Nash and his uncontrolled outbursts of love he express towards Fire. I loved Brigan and his stone face expression and cloud gray eyes and love of horses. I even had a little soft spot for Cansrel, who was Fire’s father (also a human monster) and an incredibly cruel man who liked to use his impeccable beauty and power to control minds to harm and torture people.
If you’ve read Cashore’s other novel, Graceling, which is the first book in The Seven Kingdoms trilogy, than you know that she writes about strong minded, brave leading characters and that’s also what I love about these books (lots to love!) and also that each has a strong message conveyed through them. And isn’t that what an author wants to do with his/her book? Tell and story and convey a message? Well, the message in this story is loud and clear and very inspirational and I’m going to let you guys figure the message out for yourselves because YOU BETTER READ THIS! I’m letting it be known that you DO NOT have to read Graceling to understand this novel for it’s a companion. Though I do highly recommend you do because Graceling is also an incredibly awesome book (though I like Fire better) and possibly one of the best debut novel I’ve ever read.
Though this book is heavy on the action there is still a lot of romance in it. The build-up of feelings between Fire and Brigan was done so perfectly. It wasn’t too rushed, things developed, the true colors of one’s personalities showed, and the end result was a beautiful relationship of trust and love. But trust me this book is far from being all happy. There is a war going on in the land of The Dells and there are three separate parties trying to gain control. This is bloodshed, lives lost, and secrets revealed that left me gasping at the book.
In a Nutshell: This book is one of those one that makes your head hurt and heart ache and you just want to be consumed by it all and never leave its pages. It’s a magically and frightening world of wars and love and for Fire, a place to fight to find where she truly belongs in life.
So I thank anyone still reading this. I know this turned more into a rant of admiration than a review, but if you’re still reading you deserve an award *hands out awards*. I truly hope you do check out this book. It’s quite amazing as you can already see and I honestly finished it in two sittings, which is saying a lot considering it about 500 pages.
Also I thought I’d share with you my favorite quote from the book:
“’You’re good at love,’ she said simply, because it seemed true to her. ‘I’m not so good at love. I’m like a barbed creature. I push everyone I love away.’
He shrugged. ‘I don’t mind you pushing me away if it means you love me, little sister.’” (Fire & King Nash, Page 413)
Kristin Cashore has two novels out, which are Graceling and Fire, and the final book in the trilogy called Bitterblue will be out April 1, 2011.
Finally, IF YOU STILL need to be convinced here is a video for Fire:
~Caitlin out. (You better read this book!)