The Compulsive Reader: Fire by Kristin Cashore

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fire by Kristin Cashore

Note: Though you don't have to have read Graceling before reading Fire, I do reccomend it! Click here to find out more about Graceling.

Fire is an outcast in her society, her vibrant and unnatural hair color an indicator of her monster status and her dangerous powers of mind control. She's the only one left of her kind, and she resides far out in the country where she is safe from those who fear her and would harm her.

Meanwhile, King Nash is struggling to hold on to his kingdom as enemies from the north and south threaten to overthrow him. Both Nash and his brother Brigan distrust Fire for the havoc her father wreaked on the kingdom before his death, and Brigan would like nothing more than for Fire to be killed. But now, unless they find a way to resolve their differences and work together, they'll never win the impending war.

In this prequel to Graceling, Kristin Cashore has woven an intricate and brilliant tale that reveals a whole new world beyond Katsa's seven lands, full of fantastic creatures, strange powers, and a land teeming with political tension. For the most part, the characters in Fire are made more mature than Graceling's protagonists by the complexities of their past. Fire is a strong heroine, tough and fiercely independent, but loyal and kind through and through. She is genuinely thoughtful, and her concern for others stands out, especially as she struggles to reconcile her own nature and her father's actions with who she wishes to be.

The beginning of the book is slightly slow, but in no time at all it speeds up as Fire is launched out of her comfortable world and into an unknown and dangerous one. Cashore's plot is wonderfully complex and elaborate, but tight and solid. Fire also deals with many emotions—guilt, regret, fear, love, and empathy—in a very affecting way. Cashore is a master at using all of these elements to create a suspenseful, surprising, and totally engaging read. Though Fire is not a happy, warm book all of the time—it deals with death and violence and life's cruelties, but in a sensitive and optimistic manner, it has its moments of humor and romance. Cashore's talent for pulling off such an epic and engrossing read that will sweep readers away and keep them dreaming long after the final page makes her one of the best YA fantasy writers since Tamora Pierce first introduced her character Alanna to the world. If readers weren't already in love with Cashore after reading Graceling, they will be after reading Fire.

Cover Comments: I love how the colors in the cover reflect the color of Fire's hair! The bow and arrow also have significance in the book, so it's cool that they were included. The bright colors on the cover and the fact that they are a bit shiny will really capture the eye!

Fire will be available October 5th, 2009!


Bookgeek said...

Thanks. Great review. I've just moved it to the very top of my to-be-read pile

Beth F said...

I don't know these books. I'll keep them on my radar.

halleyjane said...

Ummm...I have to wait until Oct 5th?! Haha. It'll be worth it. Graceling I loved. Fire looks great. And I can't wait for Bitterblue!

Great review!

a flight of minds said...

Gaah. Every post I see about Fire makes me so much more excited for it. Except... October. It seems so long to wait! Great review.

- Alex

Renay said...

You guys getting to read this now are so lucky! For some reason I thought this was coming out in September, though. Perhaps I got it confused with Catching Fire? Figures the one I'm ore excited for comes out later! XD

Kate said...

Great review. I'll keep an eye out for this books.

Mishel (P.S. I Love Books) said...

I just got Graceling in the mail and I'm excited to read it and this one later one. Thanks for the review =)

Ink Mage said...

Noooo, I can't wait that long!

Stacie Davis said...

I really enjoyed it...I think fans of Eragon would really like!

Rachel said...

Great review! I absolutely love Graceling so Im sure I'll like Fire even more :) Can't wait till Oct. 5th!