Review 280. Kristin Cashore – Fire.

FIRE_JKT_1.inddTitle: Fire.
Author: Kristin Cashore.
Pages: 461.
Published: October 5th 2009 by Dial boks.
Sort: Graceling Realm #2.
Graceling Realm #1. Graceling
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.
Rating:

This is such a powerful story about a broken girl who starts to discover her own possibilities. I loved seeing Fire grow and how she begins to accept herself. Sometimes it was on the line of becoming whining, but at the same time it’s not strange she had such a hard time.

Fire is the child of a human monster (father) and human (mother), which makes her one too. They have exceptional beauty and they are gifted with the capability of controlling minds. Her father reveled in his power over others and it made him cruel. He drove the first king of Dell, Nax, into madness and his son Nash is now trying to fix the chaos. His kingdom is falling apart and several rebels are trying to claim the throne. Nash only loyal subject is his brother, Brigan, who is the commander of his army.  Fire is living with Archer and his father in a house hidden in the forest. She is afraid of her power and tries to use it as little as possible, afraid she might turn into her father, but Nash needs her power to unravel all his enemies.

I liked that the story starts with Immiker, a boy Graced with the gift of mind-control, who later turns out to be King Lech. You might recognize his name from Graceling. He later returns in this storyline and it was a fun way to make a connection with the first book.

I loved Fire right away. Yes, she often complaints about how unfair it is that she is so beautiful, but at the same time she must hide herself because every male who lays his eye on her wants to ‘claim’ her.  It made her feel unappreciated for her other features, like her intelligence and loving heart. Fire is also feisty and brave, which made me really appreciate her. Some of the attack situations made me feel a little uncomfortable, but at the same time I applaud Cashore for the way she handles it.

The only thing that can save Fire from the results of her extreme beauty is her gift, but she doesn’t like to use it often. It was amazing to see how she blooms when she is brought to court under the watching eye of Brigan – who is unaffected by her. She starts to realizes that her gift can be used for good things and she wants to help Nash whenever she can. I always like it when characters develop in such a way and it gave a good base for the growing affection between her and Brigan.

"And because you are neither my husband nor my father; I am a woman of seventeen, I have my own horses and my own money, and I decide for myself where I go and when. This is not yours to forbid."

The plot is interesting. It’s about a mysterious archer she must tries to identify. He leaves a trail of dead men and Nash must know what is going on. There is also a pact between his two main enemies and they must find out what they are up to, before it is too late. The pacing was perfect and I flew through the pages. At the end I still wasn't ready to leave Fire, but the story is nicely wrapped-up (and I can already tell you that the conclusion to this series, Bitterblue, is very good too).

38 comments

  1. I started to read Graceling before but wasn't into it. I know that there are so many that loved it (even my co-blogger, Kate), so I will read it when the mood strikes. I got it on my e-reader, XD

    ~ Dre @ Sporadic Reads

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    1. Well, if you are in a fantasy mood I recommend this series :D

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  2. I listened to Fire on audio before Graceling and it was such a fun way to go through the series since I had no idea who King Lech was haha. I really enjoyed Fire as well and loved her appearance in Bitterblue! I want an entire series spin off for Fire >.>

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    1. I like that it's possible with this series to decide your own order!

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  3. Now you're actually making me want to read this book - and I've not been too sure of it ever since finishing Graceling. You're probably the first person I've heard from that really liked BOTH books. Anyways, I've got a question. I really had problems in Graceling with (what I call) the 'endless journey' - the second half or so of the book. Does this book have anything like that? Do the characters kind of zigzag across the countryside doing little at each stop? I don't mind some travel, but... If it's anything like the first book, I might have to pass on it.

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    1. Fire doesn't travel a lot. Most of the times she stays at the castle trying to figure out who is behind the killing :)

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  4. OMG! I love this series so much, and now after reading your review I just want to reread them all over again! Hopefully, I will soon. I loved Fire, and completely agree that she was an admirable character. I'm glad you enjoyed Bitterblue too, and I look forward to your review for that! Great review, Mel! :D

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  5. Good review! My daughter has been pushing me to read this series, and I really need to start them.

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  6. I didn't connect much with the first book as a lot others did, so I was hesitatkng to start this one.
    But looks like it will be a great read.Maybe I should give the book a chance.
    Great review, Mel!

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  7. I've been trying to tear through this one for quite a while now but the start just isn't really catching my attention even though I really want to read Fire's story because it sounds amazing. Hmm...must get back to this soon.

    Brilliant review, Mel! <33

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    1. I would say, just push through it! You might reach a point where the story hooks you :D

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  8. This book is forever in my heart! Looooove Fire.

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  9. I loved Graceling, but for some reason never continued with the series. Great review-I need to get this book :)

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  10. I'm so glad you enjoyed this book, because I loved it. Fire is my favorite in the series.

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  11. I love the review! I'm looking for this book on amazon right now! :)

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  12. Glad to see this book get some love..because I have heard a lot of people say they have issues with it..I loved Fire as a character!

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  13. Eep, I still need to read Graceling! Just waiting for a good opportunity because I'm thinking I'll love it just like you did. Kristin Cashore really seems to know what she's doing! And I like that she features a new protag with every book - and they all presumably have special powers of some sort?

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    1. They have a 'Grace' which is a special power if you want to call it that way! Graceling has fighting, Fire has mind control, but Bitterblue is 'just' a human - there are other people in her story with Graces.

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  14. I love the sound of the character development in this!! I haven't actually read Graceling yet, it's always been one of those books I've eyed up but never committed to buying. Not sure why lol. I'm just fickle like that, I guess!

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  15. I love, love, LOVE Fire! I mean, really I love the whole trilogy because it's amazing - but Fire has ended up being my favourite book of the lot. Fire's transformation from the beginning of the book to the end is just amazing! I mean the character development here is just so well done, and I find it's often the hardest thing to pull off if your character is going to grow that much. And unsurprisingly, the world building is just as intricate (and we get a whole new world too!)

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    1. From all the characters, Fire develops the most indeed! I loved her :)

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  16. YAY :D Amazing review Mel. <3 I'm so so glad you enjoyed this book. But.. you didn't fully love it? Hmph. I just loved it so much. Sigh. The romance with Fire and Brigan was awesome, wasn't it? Hih :) And yay! So glad you enjoyed Bitterblue too :) *waits for your review* Thank you for sharing. <3

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    1. I did, but the male attacking her all the time made me a little uncomfortable, so that took 0.5 away from the rating :)

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  17. I always enjoy watching a broken character slowly redeem themself over several installments, and Fire sounds like a delight to read about. Lovely review, Melanie. Happy Friday! :)

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  18. I've always wanted to start this series!! Fire seems like a very interesting character! I especially love seeing characters grow throughout the book. Great review, I will definitely get to this series soon!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

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  19. Fire is actually my personal favorite of the series. Odd man out, I know, but there's just something that appeals to me about her story. I adore the whole series, but Fire always stood out, so I'm so excited you loved it too!! It does seem like her complaints about being so beautiful should be bothersome (I mean, not too many people would complain about being pretty), but her frustration that people didn't care about any other aspect of her was compelling. :) Great review Mel!!

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    1. It made me feel a little like situations in real life. How often do male whistle at us or call us names, only caring about our appearance? I could totally understand her for feeling frustrated that nobody cares about the other things she has to offer.

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  20. I have read and loved both Graceling and Fire. Bitterblue is on my wish list and honestly, I think I'd read anything that Cashore writes.

    I have yet to figure out who I love more-Katsa or Fire! Nicely reviewed, Mel. :)

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  21. I have to be honest that this is honestly the installment in this series that I am most hesitant about, because the premise feels pretty sketchy in my dictionary. But I love fantasy, and I enjoyed Graceling to a certain extent, and this review is singing it praises. I just hope her complaining about being beautiful wouldn't affect me too much >_<

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    1. I really understood her feelings, so just go for it :D

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  22. Yay, I love reading positive reviews of Fire! I think I actually enjoyed reading this one just as much as Graceling, which I wasn't expecting. I can see how people might think of Fire as a bit whiny but, honestly, as you say, she has to deal with a lot of crap. I found her to be identifiable.
    And I agree that the tie-ins between the books in this series are great.
    Lovely review!

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  23. This one is still my favorite of Cashore's books - love Fire's personality!

    Great review :)

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  24. You probably know by now that this is one of my favorite series. I am not sure which book I like best because I love them all! I love the characters and the intricacies of the stories - how all the pieces build and come together in the end. I also think the graces are fascinating! So glad you loved it too (otherwise it would probably break my heart)

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    1. I wish there was even more information about the Graces, it's so cool.

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  25. I like Fire MUCH more than Graceling (though I liked Graceling a lot too). Immiker is one of the most sinister Bad Guys I've come across. I still need to read Bitterblue though . . . GAH. So many good books to find room for ;) Anyway, great review--I'm glad you loved Fire as much as I did.

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  26. I have been tempted by the Graceling series for so long now, I even have all 3 books out from the library. Not sure what keeps putting me off them, they sound amazing. Your review is giving me the nudge I need to finally give these ones a go.

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