Author: Kristin Cashore
Release Date: October 5, 2009
Genre: Teen, Fantasy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
In this prequel to Graceling, Kristin Cashore introduces us to Fire, a beautiful but deadly woman who can read minds. She is a monster, the last of her kind, and is completely irresistible to regular men.
Fire lives in seclusion, grappling with the legacy of her monster father, until one day, circumstances bring her to the royal family. War is coming, and it seems that the fate of the kingdom may rest in her hands.
I read Graceling not too long ago, and while I thought it was well-written, I didn’t love it like I expected to. Perhaps it was because I had heard too much hype, and as a result, my expectations were simply too high. That’s not to say I didn’t like it – I did, enough to pick up Fire. But I approached Fire with some trepidation, knowing that my expectations could once again make a very good book less enjoyable.
I needn’t have worried – I thoroughly enjoyed Fire! Kristin Cashore has really matured as a writer in this book. Though the world has already been established in Graceling, Cashore doesn’t assume her readers have read that book. Additionally, the parts of the world the two books take place in are extremely different – even readers of Graceling will be introduced to something completely new. Cashore does an amazing job of establishing the setting and immersing the reader in Fire’s world.
It’s not necessary to read Graceling before reading Fire. There is only one character in common and they are not a main one. In fact, I honestly didn’t see the point of including the character, except to connect the book to Graceling. I thought it might have been better without the inclusion of this character, just because their storyline seems to go off on a tangent.
Fire herself is an incredibly interesting person. She suffers from the burden of her father’s legacy, trying to make up for his evils in her own way. It’s so rewarding to see her grow beyond what people expect of her because she’s her father’s daughter. Additionally, she really comes into her own over the course of the novel. She’s an expertly written character – Cashore really shows how well she can develop a character through Fire.
I really enjoyed Fire and hope Cashore continues to write about this fantasy world she’s created. It was a rewarding and fun read, and I can’t wait to see what she does next!