Sunday, June 17, 2012

Review: Fire by Kristin Cashore


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.

I read Graceling a billion years ago when it first came out and no one heard of it. It was mostly the cover that drew me in to buy it on a whim. Barnes and Noble I believe. Anyway, I ended up loving it and got my friend hooked into it too. When I learned of the prequel, I knew I had to have it. But after a year and half, I never got around to buying it and reading it. It just sat in my to-read shelf on goodreads for months. Then one day, I won a giveaway and after looking through what I had on my wishlist, I picked this book. And after several months of owning it, I decided to read it. (Also because I purchased Bitterblue :D) And because I finally had a million hours of free time to read on my vacation to Minnesota recently, where I couldn't fish without a licence and we didn't get around to it, I read. So, here is my review.

Fire takes place 45 years before Graceling ever happened. It starts out with a man named Larch, who's wife just died in childbirth. She gave him a son. This son he named Immiker. It wasn't until the age of 3 when Immiker's eyes changed to gray and red. Larch was so determined to keep Immiker to himself that he ran away to the mountains. Immiker's Grace was he could convince anyone to do anything he wanted them to do. After he killed his father, he renamed himself Leck. (I know right?) I wasn't shocked. I had a feeling Leck was going to show up.

Fire's world was a very compelling world. When I read it, I couldn't help but think of the world of Eragon, which I loved too. The Graceling series is after all a fantasy novel. Back to my point, the Dells are much like The Seven Kingdoms. Plains, mountins, a sea, river, towns, except for one thing. In the Dells, there are monsters, monsters ithat are creatures different colors of the world--pink, aqua, tangerine. They had the power of mind control so they could compell you to want to be near them. And they did it to other monsters too so they could eat them. This is where Fire comes in.

In The Dells, war is very close (like in Eragon). Two Lords, Gentian and Mydogg, are wanting the kingdom for themselves. King Nashdell and Prince Brigandell are on the edge and are doing their best to try to thwart their plans. Fire is the last monster human, with red/orange/pink hair that attracks monsters like crazy. But because she's the last human monster, she can read minds and compell them to say or do anything she wants. The king wants her to use her powers to find out the plans of both lords from their spies and workers and allies.

In Fire, Fire is haunted by the memory of her horrible father. She soon decides that to make up for all of the horrible things he's done, she must help the kingdom. Fire is insercure about using her power; for she doesn't wish to be her father. Eventually she finds using it for the greater good in the hospitals to help soldiers through their pain to something that brings her joy. And eventually, through all the trials and tribulations, she accepts what she is and she is loved by it. (Thank God!) But one thing I did notice is that she's not one to like secrets. In Fire, everyone has secrets. The way Fire deals with them varies, but she usually goes back to trust on most of them. Because of her father, she truely couldn't trust him at all for what he does. If I was in her shoes, I too would be upset to learn what she learned. It annoyed me and made me connect to her on the way she reacted. The way it annoyed me was she acted a bit childished, like a child wanting to know a secret that everyone else knew but wouldn't tell her.

Leck's role in this story is short, but somewhat a big impact on what goes on in Graceling and Bitterblue. His plan is to let everyone kill themselves, and whoever comes out on top he will kill and become king. You can see he is an evil genius, but I feel his intentions were somewhat noble. He said he wanted to see the other side of the mountain, and I feel that if he did become king, he would send his soldiers to find ways to get to the other side. But a lot of influences, like how advanced King's City is in medicine and engineering and art, shows up in Bitterblue. Like why he takes bodies of random citizens and tortures them. I'm currently reading Bitterblue, and I kept going back to Leck in Fire and how some of the things mention are very influenced from his time in The Dells. It was liking having flashback after flashback. I didn't mind, I love flashbacks. Plus, it helped me understand the book more.

As most of you know, Po and Katsa were the main lovers in the first book. In this book, it's Fire and Brigan. From the beginning, Brigan and Fire's relationship wasn't read, still isn't in the end. Brigan's a prince, she's a monster. But later on, they become friends through chats at night and soon it slowly starts to develop into more. But because Fire is also afraid if she starts to love someone, then that person will die, that or she will. If you look at her point of view, you can see why she would close off everyone who tries to love her lover her. This creates tension between her and her two love interests that goes throughout the novel, making you wonder, "IS SHE CRAZY?!" until the very end.

The ending was very satisfying, but reading Bitterblue, I don't like it how long it took to complete what does happen want gets decided by King Nash. But I am very much looking forward to reading it when it does happen. And as much as anyone who reads Fire or Graceling will love the story and the characters that play throughout the novels, I recommend reading Fire before Bitterblue. It will make reading Bitterblue much better.

Future: Bitterblue

This book is definately a book for those who loved Eragon. It's world of mysterious monsters and fighting tyrant lords and secrets will draw anyone who has read Graceling or who loves a good fantasy novel. It is a definate read for everyone.

Rating & Ending:


On the cover of Graceling, we see Katsa's eye. And that's what Graceling is about. Katsa's Grace for killing and surviving and her eyes. In Fire, on the cover is Fire's mouth, for it's her 'mouth'/'mind' that controlls the people. I'm not a fan. And the bow and arrow, yes, she shoots it, but she doesn't uses it as much as Katsa used her sword. I guess the just needed something weapony on the cover. I like the UK covers of the books the best. It's awesome to see actually see what the girls look like in the novels.

*Won this book.

Keep On Reading!

Up Next:
Actually, I'm almost done with it.


  1. I still need to read this series! I feel like the only person in the world that hasn't, I'm all out of the Graceling/Fire/Bitterblue loop! I love the sound of her characters and the way the romance isn't a focus of the story but rather an enjoyable addition. Thanks for the review Tayte!

  2. Great review! I have Bitterblue, but haven't read it yet I'm thinking of starting it soon:)