Fire by Kristen Cashore

11 07 2012











After reading – and enjoying – Kristin Cashore’s first novel, Graceling, I decided to read her second novel, Fire. Fire is a companion novel slash prequel to the first book; it takes place before the first novel in a completely different world and features all new characters. Except for one character that features in both novels (and the third book, Bitterblue)

Fire lives in the kingdom of the Dells, a secluded kingdom far away from the Seven Kingdoms that is unknown and ignored to the rest of the kingdoms. She is a “monster”, different then the rest of her people, with wild and crazy hair. She is sent to the palace, to help the army and to travel with them. There, she meets a boy, falls in love, and learns more about her identity and her powers.

I think, after reading and considering for a while, that I preferred Graceling to this book. The reason is that I found more faults and issues with this novel.

For instance, the pacing is much more long and leisurely. There are some very long scenes – specifically the ball plot scene – and while there is action, the action didn’t distract from the slow pacing.

Also, the world building was not my favorite. I found it hard to understand the political situation in the Dells. The characters reference politics a lot, talking about warring kings and leaders and kingdoms, and it was hard to follow. The other issue was the world building of Fire’s powers and her being a “monster.” I never really grasped what it meant to be a “monster”; from the book all I could understand was that monsters had crazy hair and could control people’s minds.

One last issue was the strange exploration the book took with Fire’s “womanly wiles” and her period. When she had her period, she would have to go and hide in her tent and the whole issue made everyone – both men and women – embarrassed. I’m not sure why the book chose to explore this – it mostly seemed like a strange subplot that wasn’t needed.

I did like how the character mentioned in Graceling was introduced and used in Fire.

Cashore’s writing, once again, is beautiful – she has a way with words indeed.

Overall, I preferred the first novel, but fans of this series will probably enjoy, love, and read this series. Fans of Grave Mercy, which has a similar girl – at – court scenario, will also enjoy Fire.






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