Friday, November 13, 2009

Review for FIRE by Kristin Cashore

by Kristin Cashore
September 24th 2009 by Gollancz
Hardcover, 452 pages

Placement in the Pile
Reaching New Heights

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...

FIRE was an interesting, thought provoking read. Fire is a very strong, complex character who you will root for. It is equal parts triumph and tragedy. Cashore's writing is beautiful, although GRACELING may have been a little bit more lyrical, to me at least. FIRE seemed to have more war, more fighting, more sexual innuendo - and plain old sex. And if you thought Lek as an adult in GRACELING was freaky - just wait until you read about him as a toddler, child and youth. Uuunggghhh... (imagine me shivering in ickiness) He is a creep and a half! Thankfully, there are some truly wonderful characters to balance out the creepy/mean/awful ones. (Brigan! Hanna! Roen!) I guessed Fire's "secret" pretty early on, but won't say anything else to avoid spoiling it for others. It is definitely worth reading. There were a few minor parts of the book that I personally don't agree with, that I wish weren't there. But they were minor like I said, and didn't influence my enjoyment of the book overall.

I find it interesting that Cashore's female characters seem to often struggle with the idea of marriage and/or having children. Although, Fire's reasons were much more understandable and heartbreaking than I thought Katsa's were.

After reading this book, I thought it would be interesting to hear who readers like more: Katsa or Fire. They are both so unique in some ways, but also a little similar in other ways. I love them both!

This would definitely be rated at least PG13 for the reasons mentioned above, as well as some language.

Happy reading!
I borrowed this book from a friend, who bought it at a book store, to review it. I did not receive any compensation.


mogispie said...

sounds like my kinda book :)thanks for the review

mogispie said...

o and may i suggest putting your books' genre as a tag as well? that way we could filter and see the blogs on specific genres.
just a thought thanks :)

Aubrey (AKA Stacey) said...

I was thinking about that too mogispie! Thanks for the idea!

Thanks for the review Guinivere! I am interested to know what aspects you didn't like...since we have such similar tastes.

nikkimantyla said...

I read this a while ago, so I don't remember much except that I loved Brigan and Fire and all the main people, was thoroughly creeped out by Leck, and thought the other baddies were too flat. I completely agree about the anti-marriage thing across both her books so far and that at least Fire's reasons made more sense. But if Kristin Cashore does it again in her third book, I'm going to be annoyed.

Maria said...

Sounds good! I haven't read graceling but now I really want to.

Guinevere said...

Maria - definitely try Graceling, it is very good!

Nikkimantyia - I agree with you! She can't make everyone anti-marriage can she? There are some people who are happily married! ;-)

Aubrey - you better read it then, so we can chat about it without me spoiling anything. ;-)

Mogispie - thanks for the idea!

Anna said...

I really enjoyed Graceling but I looooved Fire. It was such an interesting and satisfying read, and it felt a little more steadily paced than Graceling. I'm very interested to see what Cashore's next novel will be like.