Monday, March 8, 2010

Fire by Kristin Cashore

Title: Fire
Series: The Seven Kingdoms Trilogy
Book #: 
Author: Kristin Cashore
: 480
Published: 2009
Reading Level: Young Adult

"My life is mine to risk, as yours is yours."

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...

Amber's thoughts: 
I read Graceling about a year ago, and I absolutely loved it. The strong characters, the incredible story, and the romance made for a thrilling read. When I picked up this book, I had pretty high expectations because of my reaction to Graceling

Fire is definitely unlike any book I've ever read. The originality of the Fire's world and the characters will grab your interest right away. Yes, I'll admit that the idea of rainbow colored monsters is just a little strange, but Cashore is able to pull it off. 

I really enjoyed Cashore's writing style. It flows so naturally, and yet it is action packed and suspenseful, not to mention addictive. There were so many times when I told myself that I was going to go to sleep after I finished the next chapter, but somehow, I always found myself beginning another one. I just couldn't stop. I will admit that I was a little disappointed that the book didn't capture my attention like Gracelingdid. I was expecting to feel the same way about Fire, but I just couldn't bring myself to appreciate this story as much as Graceling. 

Fire is very similar to Katsa, the main character in Graceling. Extremely stubborn, brave, and independent. This bothered me sometimes. Not that I don't appreciate a strong female heroine (because I totally do). My only complaint was that Fire's need to uphold a strong appearance sometimes lead her to make ridiculous decisions that left me screaming "What the heck are you doing?!" and banging my head on my desk. 

Even though this book wasn't quite as good as it's companion, it is still a worthwhile read, and I'm glad that I read it.