Fire (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

Fire (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

4.4 1071
by Kristin Cashore
     
 

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She is the last of her kind...

It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. In King City, the young King Nash is clinging to the throne, while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. War is coming. And the mountains and forest are filled with spies and thieves. This is where Fire lives, a girl whose beauty is impossibly irresistible and who can

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Overview

She is the last of her kind...

It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. In King City, the young King Nash is clinging to the throne, while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. War is coming. And the mountains and forest are filled with spies and thieves. This is where Fire lives, a girl whose beauty is impossibly irresistible and who can control the minds of everyone around her.

Exquisitely romantic, this companion to the highly praised Graceling has an entirely new cast of characters, save for one person who plays a pivotal role in both books. You don't need to have read Graceling to love Fire. But if you haven't, you'll be dying to read it next.

Editorial Reviews

Mary Quattlebaum
This elegantly written prequel to the acclaimed Graceling blazes with the questions of young adulthood: Who am I? How do I stand in relation to my parents? What choices will define my life? Seeing those concerns played out by Fire, Brigan and a host of memorable minor characters proves as compelling as the richly detailed medieval backdrop, the tension between battling lords and the mysterious presence of strange-eyed Leck, the only character common to both novels.
—The Washington Post
Alissa Quart
Fire is a good addition to the young adult bookshelf. It has action, romance and mysterious creatures, and it allows readers to indulge in a primal fantasy: What would it be like to have such powers? Fire may not lessen anyone's desire for transcendent beauty or the ability to read the minds of the lords and ladies of the lunchroom. But by the end, readers will better understand that even these gifts are double-edged.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
This prequel to Graceling, Cashore's smashing debut, may initially frustrate readers wanting more about Katsa and Po. Fire takes place long before Katsa's birth in an adjacent kingdom called the Dells and shares only one character. But its themes—embracing your talents and moving out of your parents' shadow—are similar, as is the absorbing quality of Cashore's prose. The Dells do not have gracelings; they have beautiful creatures called monsters that are like normal animals except for their exquisite coloration. Seventeen-year-old Fire, who can read and control minds, is the last human monster. Her father, a corrupt adviser to a debased king, recognizes the dangers of her powers and exiles her to the hills, where she is raised by an out-of-favor military commander and befriended by his son, Archer. Many twists propel the action, and although astute readers will suspect who the eventual lovers will be from their first hateful meeting, the buildup to their romance provides tension that keeps the pages turning. Cashore's conclusion satisfies, but readers will clamor for a sequel to the prequel—a book bridging the gap between this one and Graceling. Ages 14–up. (Oct.)
Booklist
. . . vivid storytelling, strongly realized alternate world, well-drawn characters, convincing fantasy elements, gripping adventure scenes and [a] memorable love story. starred review
Horn Book
Cashore's prose has matured, growing piercing and elegant . . . starred review
VOYA - Kathleen Beck
Across the mountains from the scene of Cashore's first novel, Graceling (Harcourt, 2008/VOYA October 2008), King Nash of The Dells clings to his throne through the skill of his military commander, younger brother Brigan. The Dells are home to creatures called monsters, which resemble normal animals but for their brilliant coloration and their ability to enter others' minds. The last human monster is Fire, named by her father Cansrel for her startling red hair. Advisor to King Nash's father, Cansrel was widely feared and hated before his death, and Fire is glad to grow up quietly, far from the capital. But war is about to engulf Fire as the desperate king, beset by rivals, enlists her mind-controlling skills in his kingdom's defense. Complicating matters are the jealous protectiveness of Fire's old friend and lover Archer and her attraction to cool, selfcontained Prince Brigan. In the background, somehow influencing events, stands a strange boy with two different-colored eyes and an ominous ability to cloud others' minds. This prequel and companion to Graceling can be read independently. The only crossover character is the boy, whom readers of the previous book will recognize as the future King Leck of Monsea. There is plenty of action, but the focus is on Fire's internal struggle to define herself. Like Graceling heroine Katsa, Fire is a complicated, independent woman with a matter-of-fact attitude toward sex. Older readers will appreciate her difficult path to maturity and look forward to Cashore's projected third book, Bitterblue. Reviewer: Kathleen Beck
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—This fantasy, shot through with romance and suspense, is set in the same world as Graceling (Dial, 2008), but on the far side of the mountain barrier in the kingdom of the Dells. Here there are monsters, enhanced and exceptionally beautiful versions of various animal species. Fire is a human monster, so beautiful that she has to hide her hair for fear of attack by both raptor monsters and human men. She is able to enter other people's minds and exert power over them. It is a tumultuous time in the kingdom, as various lords are preparing to overthrow the king, and Fire is drawn into the fray. With a larger cast and a more complex canvas than Graceling, the story begins slowly and takes its time establishing itself. Fire's path is not immediately clear, and although full of action, her quest is largely internal. While the plotting is well done, there are a few quibbles about Cashore's world-building and about the role of a major character from Graceling, Leck. But, this is Fire's story, and readers will fall in love with her as she struggles with her pivotal role in the war effort as well as her complex relationships with her oldest friend and lover, Archer; with Prince Brigan, whose mind is closed to her and who becomes central to her life; and with her monster father's fearsome legacy. More adult in tone than Graceling, this marvelous prequel will appeal to older teens, who will not only devour it, but will also love talking about it.—Sue Giffard, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City
Kirkus Reviews
A jewel-toned companion to Graceling (2008) inverts the trope of the exotic, gifted, irresistible fantasy heroine. Every species in the Dells has its impossibly attractive "monster" counterpart. Fire, last of the human monsters, must constantly use her mind-altering abilities to protect herself from the frenzied desire and resentful distrust of man and beast alike. Though her father used his powers to corrupt the kingdom, political tumult leads the ruling family to seek her aid, dispatching the one member strong enough to shield his thoughts. But the subtle intrigues of palace plots and even the sickening horrors of open warfare are vehicles to total immersion into Fire's character, and her experiences of crippling pain, guilt, fear, grief and-even more devastating-the fragile unfurling of trust, friendship and love. For this is a love story, not just a romance (although that as well, surpassingly sweet). As Fire journeys from her isolated home to slowly integrate herself into a wider community, she tentatively, tenderly, passionately falls in love with a family, a city, a kingdom, with the very contradictions that make them human-and, at the last, with her own place among them. Fresh, hopeful, tragic and glorious. (Fantasy. YA)
Children's Literature - Cynthia Levinson
In this "companion" book—actually, a prequel—to Graceling, Cashore's debut novel and first in a projected three-book fantasy series, seventeen-year-old Fire—named for her red hair—is the last of the human monsters. In the world of the Dellians, however, a "monster" is not necessarily fearsome. On the contrary, she is so beautiful she must hide herself from both raptor monsters and human men, both of whom might attack. In addition, she has the ability to influence other people's thoughts and, thereby, control their behavior. The one person immune to her power is Prince Brigan, to whom she is attracted and who angers her lover, Archer. Their relationship is further complicated by the fact that Brigan's father, King Nash, tries to use Fire's skill in his war against usurping lords who want to overthrow him. To ally herself with King Nash, however, she must distance herself from her father, who used his own powers to undermine the kingdom. The story is suspenseful, action-filled, and romantic all at once. Even better, the issues—Fire's need to come to terms with her appearance, her talents, and, above all, her own commitments—are internal. Strange as her gifts and her world are, many teen readers will identify, with Fire's uncertainties about herself and her evolution into a powerful woman. Although the story begins slowly and tamely, Cashore has constructed a complete and convincing world, helpfully diagrammed on a map and inhabited by compelling and complicated characters. Readers should be aware, however, that battle scenes are gruesome and that Fire's and Archer's sexual relationships, both with each other and other characters, are frequent and "casual," not necessarily involving affection or a commitment. Reviewer: Cynthia Levinson

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780606230858
Publisher:
Demco Media
Publication date:
01/25/2011
Series:
Graceling Realm Series, #2
Edition description:
THIS EDITION IS INTENDED FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY
Pages:
461
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Kristin Cashore lives in Massachusetts.

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Fire 4.4 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 1071 reviews.
alissa47 More than 1 year ago
I loved Graceling, so I was more than eager to jump into Fire-and believe me, it did not disppoint. It was every bit as good as Graceling. Within the first five minutes of reading I had an oh #@%& moment,and was hooked until the end. I love the way Kristin Cashore developes her characters-and to think, this is only her second book. I am already in great anticipation for the realse of Bitterblue. If you are a fan of Graceling, this book will not disppoint and no review will be able to do it justice.
Angieville More than 1 year ago
GRACELING was one of my very favorite reads of 2008 and the year's best YA I would venture to say. And before you get all up in arms, let me assure you I enjoyed THE HUNGER GAMES as much as the next person. But GRACELING was just the one, you know? And I have this feeling that Kristin Cashore is something special. I was positively thrumming with anticipation when I heard she had a second book to follow. FIRE is, in point of fact, a prequel to GRACELING and takes place 30 years or so prior to Katsa and Poe's story. It is also set in an entirely different land, though definitely in the same world, and (as I am sure you have already heard) a certain terrifyingly familiar character from GRACELING makes an appearance in FIRE. Otherwise, it is its own story and it stands completely on its own feet. Fire is a monster. A human monster. And the last of her kind. In her homeland, the Dells, there are all manner of monsters from lizards and mosquitoes to leopards and raptors. But they all have one thing in common--their incomparable beauty. These creatures come in a gorgeous riot of color and texture and are so beautiful they literally impede rational thought in the humans they come into contact with. With the ability to control the minds of those around them, they inspire an uncomfortable (at times deadly) mixture of fear, hatred, and absolute longing in the people of the Dells. And no one is more hated or sought after than Fire. Her father was King Nax's most trusted advisor and closest friend. He was also the one responsible for the king's untimely death and for the current chaotic state of the realm. When Fire's service is requested on behalf of the young King Nash and his brother and war commander Brigan, Fire is thrust out of her quiet life and into a mounting war. Forced to reconcile her questionable abilites with her own demanding conscience, she is immediately caught between right and wrong, a dark past and uncertain present, and a pair of brothers determined to win at all costs. This book made short work of me. There was just so much hope inside me wrapped around how good it would be and when it turned out to be approximately ten times better than all that wrapped up hope....well....I was a goner. I looked forward all day long to the moment I could crawl back in bed and read more about the Dells and Fire and Brigan and Archer. And the list goes on. These characters are breathtakingly real and the way the gorgeous, understated writing tugs and pulls and builds a complex and lovely world around them makes the whole package irresistable. Best of all, Fire herself struck a chord deep within me and I held my breath as I watched her move through her world, worried she wouldn't meet with enough care, hoping someone in the messy throng of plotting, planning, warring kings and soldiers would recognize her for what she was. Like Katsa before her, she is so very strong, an outcast her entire life, and yet she never turns her back on those who need her. Even when they have no idea how desperately they do. Even when she herself is afraid. FIRE is, wait for it, even better than its predecessor. It's subtle and thoughtful and throbbing with genuine emotion--three qualities I often find lacking in my reading. It is, without a doubt, the most difficult of combinations to achieve, but when the right note is struck....magic.
acornucopiaoflove More than 1 year ago
Ever since I read that Kristin Cashore was writing two companion novels to Graceling, I couldn't wait to read them. Graceling was a great novel (that I couldn't put down), so I set my hopes very high for Fire. Characters: This story focuses on the character, Fire, a half-human, half-monster. She's able to control the minds of people around her, but she's very cautious about using this power unless it's absolutely necessary. Similar to Katsa, Fire is an extremely strong female character, but she's conflicted about her gifts. She's extremely beautiful, due to her half-monster lineage. This may sound like a blessing, but she is forced to hide her dazzling hair under a scarf, because it attracts people to her. To Fire, her monster powers are more of a curse than a gift. It's also because of these powers that she's constantly reminded of her father. He was fiercely protective of her, but cruel to everyone else he encountered. Plot: I really enjoyed Fire's story. It seemed like the book delved a lot deeper into who she was. Particularly, what it meant to be part-monster, but feel as humans do. I enjoyed reading Fire's memories of her father, Cansrel. He was a full monster, and had no qualms with manipulating the minds of people around him to do his bidding. Fire's memories seemed to emphasize that, while she hadn't always made the best choices, she had a conscience. She never manipulated the minds of people when it wasn't completely necessary. The romance was very subtle, and built up very nicely over the course of the story. It didn't feel rushed, or forced, and really affirmed the humanity in Fire. We also got to see the origins of a character from Graceling. I won't give away the name, even though he's introduced in the very early pages of the book. I'll just say this, I hated the character in this book too! Final Say: Is it wrong that I want a sequel about Fire? I absolutely loved this book, and can't wait for Bitterblue, Cashore's next book.
EmSTL More than 1 year ago
Fire is an amazing story!! Kristin Cashore is my favorite new writer!! Cashore's debut novel Graceling was wonderful, but she has completely outdone herself with Fire!! As soon as I finished this book, I immediately flipped back to the first page to start again!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's rare to come across a teen novel that is interesting and written beauituflly. I fell in love with the characters, the story, how beautiful weaven the story was, and the art of her writing. Not only did this story SURPASS Graceling, but her writing style is something to admire. If you liked Graceling, you will LOVE Fire. Captivating, dark, and lovely. You don't know if you want to cry to laugh. She gives her characters real emotions and takes a slow pace to a fast-paced story. Non-the-less, it is a page turner and a shocker! This book is one of my newest favorites (just finished reading minutes ago).
sand7s More than 1 year ago
Very great story line. enjoyed it and would recommend!
Ameelove More than 1 year ago
I really loved this book. The main character Fire was such an easy character to relate to despite her otherworldly beauty. She was a strong female character, which I love, even though she wasn't physically strong. She was opinionated and independent and I think that girls should be reading books like this. Also, I loved the love story in this book. Usually, I find romance in books (Especially in recent Teen Fiction) very cheesy and unrealistic, but in Fire it wasn't rushed and seemed very believable. There was a mix of everything in this book, plot turns, sad moments, funny moments, everything. I definitely recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so F**king awesome
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love LOVE LOVE!!!!!! even if you are not sure you want to read it, do it anyway! The characters are different but just as loveable  as those from Graceling
RoxieF More than 1 year ago
I was upset at first because I didn't want a companion book to Graceling, I wanted a sequel. But I was totally wrong!! I loved everything about Fire, and hope that the author will bring the two book's characters together somehow.
pagese More than 1 year ago
I've waited patiently to read this book. I got the first from the library and was waiting for them to get this one as well. It was well worth the wait. Like Graceling, it builds slowly. But, the characters slowly start to grow on you. Fire was very similar to Katsa in my opinion. Both young women did not like who they were and how their powers could be used and abused. Fire was just as strong in this one. Although, I think she was more afraid of her own abilities. It was like she had to come to terms with the fact that using them did not make her a bad person. It would be how she chose to use them. Brigan was just the sort of male character you can't help but love by the end, and maybe drool over as well. The author built him up so fantastically. Brigan and Fire's relationship was built up well. It wasn't the typical see each other and fall in love sort of moment. It has much more substance too it. There isn't as much action in this one. It seems to be more about relationships. But, I still thought it was wonderful. My only issue was the author seems to have a agenda with female empowerment. I got a little tired of the talk about birth control, abortion, etc. I'm all for women's rights, but it seemed a little bit much in this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are a fan of Graceling, this one will NOT disappoint. I loved the world of Graceling so went into Fire a bit skeptical seeing as how Katsa and Po would not be present, but the Dells and all they have to offer was amazing and had me hooked from the the first page! I love this series and cannot wait for the next to be released as I'm sure it won't disappoint. Also if you have not read Graceling it doesn't really matter if you jump into Fire first, but be warned that a major spoiler relating to Graceling is revealed in Fire ;)
Katdancin More than 1 year ago
This has to be the best book/series I have read in a long long time. I thought Graceling was fantastic and this book equaled it and took it to another level. Before I even had the time to place it in my B&N Library and mark it as the one I'm currently reading I had this book read. The story is so real and the characters are so alive that you feel like you are right there in the story with them. Her style of writing is so easy to read and the story just flows. There are never any slow or boring parts to this book and never any wasted words as a fill in. I love the variety of personalities, all totally believable, even the odd ones. I was actually sad and disappointed when I was done reading this book because I did not want it to end. I can't wait for the next one to come out and would highly recommend this book to any and all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fire was such a captivating action/drama/romance novel that I read it in practically one sitting. I would recommend this book to anyone. It was every bit as good as Graceling even though it was not a sequel. The characters were very enticing and relatable but still with their own fictional twists. They complimented eachother very well and just when you thought you had the story figured out... you didnt. This was easily one of my favorite books and possably my favorite series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can't wait for the next one by this author. I love the world she has created in both Graceling and Fire.
BetweenTheLines More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing! I have to be honest and tell you there were parts that kind of bugged me or confused me, but the rest of the book went above and beyond making up for it. If you read Graceling, you will know that Cashore writes strong female heroines. While Fire is not nearly as lethal as Katsa (although she could be I suppose), she is still a powerful woman who knows what she wants. Fire is such a compelling character. The journey of self-discovery she makes during the course of the novel is brilliantly written. In fact all of the characters grow and develop in some manner. Something that bothered me in both Graceling and Fire was the naming of characters and various places. In Graceling the biggest annoyance was the name, Princess Bitterblue. It made me involuntarily twitch every time I read it. Also, the names of the regions of Katsa's world had the creative equivalent to North, South, East and West. In Fire, Lord Mydogg is quite possibly one of the worst original names I have ever heard of. And guess where the king lives? The very originally named, King City. When I wrote my review of Graceling, I read some of the other reviews posted on Amazon. Many people complained about the sexual relationship between Katsa and Po mostly because it was a 'casual sex' relationship in a young adult book. The characters had no intention of marrying or producing children, they merely had an ongoing physical relationship. If this bothered you in Graceling, it's even worse in Fire. I'm not really one that is bothered by this, however, the actions of Fire's best friend/lover, Archer, were absolutely deplorable and no one seemed to be bothered by it. He constantly was spouting off about how much he loved Fire, but then had sex with everything that moved. Because Fire didn't want to marry him, she didn't seem to care and in fact smiled at his sexual exploits at one point. Without giving too much away about the ending, I think that Archer paid the consequences for his actions. The bad behavior in the beginning, really set up his character. So, even though his actions bothered me, I believe it was the author's intent to have his actions make the reader squirm a bit. Long story short, if it bothered you in the first book, it will bother you more in this one. The idea of the 'graced' in the first book was so original and unique, and the 'monsters' in the second book did not disappoint. I felt it was a bit confusing at first to understand the concept, in conjunction with the concept of the gracelings. Monsters are basically super-beings. There is everything from human monsters to mouse monsters. They are all stunningly more beautiful than their standard counterparts. They also all have the ability to sense and change emotions and thoughts. This varies from the gracelings because they are only graced in one area. Anything from sword fighting to cooking to reading minds. Another important thing to note is that the monsters are not in the same geographic areas as the gracelings. This took me a while to grasp. I'm sure it was explained, but I just didn't pick up on it. Past all of that, I thought it was brilliant. Very worthy of the 5/5 rating I gave it. Even though I was super-busy, I read it in a little over a day. This is one of those books that I am glad I own, because it would be very worthy of a re-read. One last note.In my opinion, you must read Graceling first because Fire will spoil certain elements of the story in Graceling.
emilysue_09 More than 1 year ago
I wish I could give this book 10 stars! I loved Graceling, but I adore Fire. I love this character even more and the plot too. Wish I had time to write more, but I could go on all day!
Sammantha More than 1 year ago
Loved Gracling and couldnt wait for fire it was a great read, and i will be re-reading it!
Jill23 More than 1 year ago
This book gets your attention right away and kept it until the very end. Good characters, great story that takes a lot of twists and turns. Definately not a flat predictable read. Kristin Cashore is a great story teller! NOT just for teens!
BookWorm31825 More than 1 year ago
This book was great, I liked it even more than the first one, this story is more intese and I thought the characters had a more real feel to them. A book I would totally read again
Kaoden39 More than 1 year ago
Once again I enjoyed Ms Kashore's work. I think that she humanizes her characters. I loved that in the first book and I loved it in this one. Her character development is one of the reasons I enjoy her books. This is the story of Fire, a very insecure young lady. Who is afraid of her gift, which is to be able to get into peoples minds. She knows what they are thinking and can influence their thoughts and actions. She doesn't use this ability maliciously, she uses it only as she feels it is needed. She does have a bit of a dark past with it, but as I don't want to give spoilers I won't mention it. The relationships that Fire has are interesting to say the least. Her best friend Archer is a busy bed hopper, and he takes no one else feelings into consideration. All in all this is a good story and Fire is a great heroine.
AHart33 More than 1 year ago
When I first saw Fire by Kristin Cashore I was so excited! Her first book, Graceling, was a definite page turner. (If you haven't read Graceling you should know it is set in a place called the Seven Kingdoms, where a girl named Katsa is Graced with the power to Kill. Katsa teams up with the Graced Fighter Prince Po, to try and save their lands from a terrible King.) Naturally when I saw the title, having read the first book, I thought, "Sweet, somenone is going to be Graced with Blowing things up!" I was way off. In the Dells, a place south of the Seven Kingdoms, lives a monster and her name is Fire. She is the only Human Shaped Monster left and is ashamed of what she can do. Fire is unbelievably beautiful and has the ability to control the minds around her. With the Dells on the brink of a civil war, the King asks Fire for her help. In order to save her Kingdom Fire will have to learn to accept herself and her abilities. I was a little disappointed when I read the discription of the tale on the cover. I wanted to know more about the Graces and the Seven Kingdoms! The only thing Graceling and Fire had in common is the setting and Leck. The PreQuel tells us about Leck (who was the corrupt King of one of the Seven Kingdoms in Graceling) and his early years. Giving us a little insight on where he came from. But, once I started reading the book, I couldn't put it down. Fire was such an interesting character! She drew me in and I was determined to figure out how she would make it through story. Throughout the story she battles her conscience, her enemies, her admirers, and her past. It is an addicting story to say the least. If Graceling is your Number One than Fire will be your Runner Up. I recommend reading it to all fantasy lovers. It has action, romance, adventure, drama, and all the things that make up a great story.
SeeMichelleRead More than 1 year ago
Sequels or prequels have never been my favorite thing because they are always bound to disappoint in some way or other. They may not follow the same characters or just in general, may not live up to the awesomeness of it's predecessor. Which is always disappointing. When I got a hold of Graceling earlier this year, I was in complete love - Katsa and Po's story was amazing and as soon as I heard a prequel was in the works, I agonized over Kristin Cashore's ability to top or even equal it. After tearing through Fire, however, I can tell you she has reinvented the standard for sequels. Turned it on it's head. Made me so completely fall in love with Fire and the Dells that I have no hesitation whatsoever in saying: Bring on the sequels Kristin Cashore, because I will read simply anything you publish now. ANYTHING. All Fire's life she has wanted nothing more than to not become the monster her father Cansrel was. But in the Dells, monsters are a part of everyday life: brightly colored monster raptors, monster cats, and even monster bugs attract humans with their unique scales or fur and by using their mind to force their will on others. Fire is the last living human monster, a young girl with hair like fire and a face that can make others fall at her feet in rapture or fear or simply make them want to kill her. She's lived in an isolated portion of the country next to her childhood friend Archer for her entire life, trying to use her mental capacities for good rather than evil. See, she's had to work hard to destroy more than a few misconceptions about monsters since her father (a deranged, pleasure-seeking monster) had wrecked havoc as the King's twister adviser - eventually leading the the King's death and the region's current state of unrest. Even though Fire couldn't be more different from her father, she's developed an overactive conscience and has worked extra hard to keep her abilities in check. But as war looms closer and closer for the Dells, Fire is sought out for her mental abilities by King Nash and his brother, Brigand. Agreeing to help these men may be the most taxing thing she's ever done seeing as nobody in the King's City want to trust her and everyone is harboring more than a little fear, desire, and hatred for her alone. What killed me most of all reading this book had to be the depth and complexity of emotions. Nothing surface here. Fire's desires and hopes are all firmly rooted in her past and each is clearly thought through, leaving me with a sense of knowing Fire as if I'd grown up next door to her and Archer. On top of this brilliant display of complicated feelings has to be the exquisitely slow development of relationships and events. Ms. Cashore knows how to take her time. No forced encounters, no rushed big reveals, just a slow and steady buildup until such a solid foundation is in place that when you finally uncover the truth, so many little details click into perfect place. I seriously could not put this book down and if I wasn't reading it, all I could think about was when I'd get to read it next. It was the perfect combination of action, love (all types), and the desire to make things right in times of war and heartache - establishing itself as one of the best books I've read this year. seemichelleread.blogspot.com
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think Kristin Cashore has a brilliant mind that conjures up the most fascinating stories. Fire started slow and I almost stopped reading it. However, after the first 100 pages or so it became gripping and I was unable to put down. Fire, the book, had the same effect on me as Fire, the character, had on those who beheld her beauty...mesmerising. The royal family were such amiable characters. They are so honorable that you can't help but love each one of them. Fire is a wonderful character. She's strong and powerful, yet remains ever gentle and compassionate. I only wish that the tie between Fire and her love interest (who shall remain nameless so that I will not give anything away) would have been more developed. This seems to be a reoccuring theme in Cashore's writing, which is some what disappointing to a romantic like myself. I would have liked to see more interactions between them, which were always too few and too short lived. But what she lacks in a deep love story she makes up in every other aspect of writing a great book. I thoroughly enjoyed it (as much if not more than Graceling) and would recommend it to anyone.
harstan More than 1 year ago
About three decades before the adventures of Katsa and Po in GRACELING in the Kingdom of the Dells reside the monsters with incredibly delicate beautiful coloring. However, the realm is changing as seventeen year old Fire is the last human monster who has the ability to read minds and more significantly control people mentally. Her corrupt father served as the prime adviser to the pathetic King Nax until the monarch's recent death, which his advisor caused. The new ruler King Nash and his brother Commander Brigan want Fire on their side of the apparent upcoming civil war for obvious reasons. Meanwhile her sire who exiled her to the countryside does not want to lose his position of affluence and power so will do anything including selling out his country, his king, and his daughter. Although set before the heroine of Graceling is born and in another country with only one reasonably important tie between the novels, fans will fully appreciate stand alone FIRE, a strong profound thriller starring an incredible lead monster. Fire has psychological issues over using her powers as directed by her father and her king, but understands her dilemma because her mind control would probably lead to less blood flowing, yet free will is a right she believes in. Fans will enjoy this strong drama as security and liberty are debated inside an exciting fast-paced character driven tale that ironically will lead to a demand for a tweener book that ties the female heroines, Fire and Katsa, together. Harriet Klausner