Saturday, April 21, 2012

[Review] Fire by Kristin Cashore

Title: Fire {goodreads}
Authors: Kristin Cashore
Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): (First) 24/09/2009
Publisher: Firebird - US PB
Source: Bought
Precautions: Violence | Sexual Content Profanity
Pages: 460 +extras
My Rating:
Amazing read
Now she is choosing to use her power.

It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. Young King Nash clings to the throne, while rebel lords, in the north and south, build armies to unseat him. War is coming. The mountains and forests are filled with spies and thieves.

This is where Fire lives, a girl whose startling appearance is impossibly irresistable and who can control the minds of everyone around her.

Everyone . . . except Prince Brigan.
My thoughts: 

~ Final thoughts ~

Finely conceived and tautly written, Fire is a welcome companion to Graceling. As far as I'm concerned, Kristin Cashore can do no wrong! Readers who were looking for more of a political side to war in GracelingFire will find it in . This one's a keeper. I cannot wait to get my hands on Bitterblue (PB) so that I have an excuse to re-read this fine series. :) Also, get ready to fall in love with more of Kristin's characters!

I love the Aussie cover!
Fire, set much before the events in Graceling, was one book I was just so eager to get into. Even after setting down Graceling, there was such a longing to just continue and trap myself in the world of the Seven Kingdoms. Fire is actually set to the east of the Kingdoms, over the mountains to the Dells. I have yet to read a high fantasy novel I couldn't wrap my mind around, that I just could not get into. This one was no exception - I was captivated all the way through!

MY SYNOPSIS (sort of)

Although this book is set in the same world as Graceling, it's not exactly in the same places we've explored before, so it's like a whole new world. Instead of the Gracelings, which do still exist in this time, there are Monsters in the Dells. Beautiful, magnificent beings that span all the colours of the rainbow. Our main character and heroine is a Human Monster - her father was the Monster, both inside and out. Her hair glimmers all shades of reds and oranges, even with a few pinks, and her pull on people and creatures alike is contagious. Anyone who sees her is hooked. She also has a special ability: she can enter the minds of living things and even manipulate their thoughts.

And she's been locked away from the public eye for so long. Her special friend Archer protects her. Her father was a Monster, a calamity. He was the King's commander and also had the same ability that Fire has, so you can see why Fire would be so frightened to use these powers she's been given. Where he used those powers for evil and self-gain, Fire could set things right, for the Dells are nearing a war. There are three entities of concern: the King, Lord Mydogg (in the north) and Lord Gentian (to the south); she could help bring control back to the Dells.


Fire is our main girl, and though she can be stubborn, weak and silly, more often she's clever, strong-willed, quick to act, brave and compassionate; which means that I loved her! She makes mistakes, but she draws knowledge from those mistakes - she thinks about what could have been done differently. We're so often in her head despite the third-person narrative that it's hard not to let her character in. She also has this wit, a sense of humour in that she says things that one might find cleverly humourous [I think I went around in a circle there]. Cashore never skims on the details of her appearance either. It's easy to make a character beautiful and let the personality dwindle or have her appear vain, but our good author here never crosses over that line.

I love the characters we meet along the way! I tried so hard to keep hold of all the family ties along the way but it's kind of complicated and I got confused... Seriously though, in such a plot and setting-driven story, we see lots of depth in some of these characters. I actually cared about what happened to Fire and her friends. I never quite got to the point where I loved Archer's character, but I did grow an understanding of why his personality came to be. For those who have read Fire, my favourites are Brigan, Small and Horse, Hanna and Blotty, Queen Roen and Clara.

Writing? Beautiful. I will admit that I had to re-read some passages to understand their meaning. Cashore utilises this unique style that rises far beyond younger-YA. I don't doubt that adults who are used to adult fantasy wouldn't have any problems with it.

That said, I would definitely class Cashore's books as older-YA. While there's nothing too gory or obsene for younger readers, the characters are of older ages and also have more mature mentalities as such.

Finely conceived and tautly written, Fire is a welcome companion to Graceling. As far as I'm concerned, Kristin Cashore can do no wrong! Readers who were looking for more of a political side to war in Graceling will find it in Fire. This one's a keeper. I cannot wait to get my hands on Bitterblue (PB) so that I have an excuse to re-read this fine series. :)


First lines

"Larch often thought that if it had not been for his newborn son, he never would have survived his wife Mikra's death." (prologue)

"It did not surprise Fire that the man in the forest shot her. What surprised her was that he shot her by accident." (chapter one)

Favourites (for the record I tabbed 19 pages, but most of them are long or contextual)

"She didn't want to go far, just out of the trees so that she could see the stars. They always eased her loneliness. She thought of them as beautiful creatures, burning and cold; each solitary, and bleak, and silent like her." (p. 30)

"'It's hard to wake from a nightmare when the nightmare is real,' he said..." (p. 154)

"Fire's tears were real now, and there was no helping them, for there was no time. Everything was moving too fast. She crossed the room to him, put her arms around him, clung to him, turning her face to the side, learning all at once that it was awkward to show a person all one's love when one's nose was broken." (p. 353 - whenever I read this I think of "Arms" by Christina Perri)



* cheapest Australian e-store price

Fishpond * | Readings | Dymocks | Angus & Robertson | Borders | The Nile


All links from Booko, because I'm too lazy to search each individual store anymore.


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I have received this review copy in return for an honest review.

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