Author: Kristin Cashore
Reading Level: Young Adult
Series: Companion book to Graceling
Fire, Graceling‘s prequel-ish companion book, takes place across the mountains to the east of the seven kingdoms, in a rocky, war-torn land called the Dells.
Beautiful creatures called monsters live in the Dells. Monsters have the shape of normal animals: mountain lions, dragonflies, horses, fish. But the hair or scales or feathers of monsters are gorgeously colored– fuchsia, turquoise, sparkly bronze, iridescent green– and their minds have the power to control the minds of humans.
Seventeen-year-old Fire is the last remaining human-shaped monster in the Dells. Gorgeously monstrous in body and mind but with a human appreciation of right and wrong, she is hated and mistrusted by just about everyone, and this book is her story.
Wondering what makes it a companion book/prequel? Fire takes place 30-some years before Graceling and has one cross-over character with Graceling, a small boy with strange two-colored eyes who comes from no-one-knows-where, and who has a peculiar ability that Graceling readers will find familiar and disturbing…
In Graceling we were introduced to the 7 Kingdoms and the strange people with different two different eyes that had unusual talents. In Fire we are introduced to the Dells and to monsters. Monsters with beautifully colored coats that can get in your mind and lead you straight to your death. That’s what Fire is. She is a human monster that instills desire and anger in everyone she meets.
When I first found out that Fire was a companion novel and not a sequel I was disappointed. I wanted more Katsa and Po. Fire started off a little slow for me but that didn’t last long. It took off and nothing else could distract me from Fire’s story.
Kristin Cashore is immensely talented. I knew this after finishing Graceling but Fire definitely drives the point home. She has created a fantasy world unlike any other and done it beautifully. She has created characters that I become engrossed in to the point of thinking about them days later.This author has a way of making you feel for the characters that doesn’t happen in a lot of fantasy novels. Any author that can give me chills with the appearance of the villain is going to end up a favorite of mine.
In this book Fire’s heartbreak and heartache are apparent from the very beginning and
with good reason but Kristin Cashore slowly weaves the story of Fire’s father through hers and the effect is amazing. Your heart will ache for Fire and you will feel joy with her too.
The romance in this one wasn’t as big a plot element as in Graceling but it was perfect for this story. You will fall in love right along with Fire.
Can you tell that I loved this book? Both of Cashore’s books will be on my favorites of ’09 list. Kristin Cashore has a gift and I’m ecstatic that she shared it with us. These books are must reads for everyone! If you haven’t read them yet please do so. 5 Stars!