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.
Once again, Kristin Cashore has created a fantastical world in Fire. As a companion novel to Graceling, I was expecting a similar setting and plot, but I immediately discovered that would not be the case. The similarities are there but Fire also introduces us to a whole different world, one with beautiful and colorful creatures of all sorts, known as monsters.
This book is so adequately named for this is truly Fire’s story. A story of a young girl on a path of self-discovery, about embracing who you are and overcoming your fears. Fire is an amazing and complex character, so strong yet so incredibly fragile and vulnerable. She feels her emotions whole-heartedly and I often felt them along with her. As the last human monster, her beauty and heritage often causes intense reactions of love, lust and hate from those around her. She also has the ability to see inside the mind of others and even steer them to her will. Fearing the ways her father had abused his power, Fire denies herself to truly access the strength of her own. After attacks on her and the kingdom by men with clouded minds, Fire must decide whether or not she can overcome her fears and help her kingdom in the wake of a war.
As for the romance, I can honestly say that for the first half of the book I was not entirely sure who I should root for as a love interest for Fire. On one hand there is Archer, her best friend and sometimes lover, who wore his love for her on his sleeve. His jealousy often got him in trouble, but he was also fiercely protective of her. Then there is Brigan, the Prince who despised her in the beginning. Their relationship was very slow building, but eventually they learned respect for each other and a wonderful companionship develops between the two. In the end, the romance worked out the way it should, but that doesn’t mean my heart did not break on the journey to that point.
My only negative is that there were moments in the middle that were a little slow for me. Things would pick up but then we would hit another slow patch. It is definitely worth it to push through though because Fire is definitely a unique and wonderful tale that I would recommend to fans of fantasy novels.
4 out of 5!