She is the last of her kind...
It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. In King City, the young King Nash is clinging to the throne, while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. War is coming. And the mountains and forest are filled with spies and thieves. This is where Fire lives, a girl whose beauty is impossibly irresistible and who can control the minds of everyone around her.
First off I'm just gunna say ~ Kristin Cashore is amazing! All the little details and events spanning across miles and miles of mapped land... It all seems impossible for one writer to keep up with.. but she does it, and she does it with flair.
Fire is the companion novel to Graceling. Only one character from Cashore's first novel is present, and although you can read Fire without reading Graceling, I think reading it as a second novel is a good idea ~ it can be independent, but it ties together so well with Graceling.
I can't say Fire, the heroine, reminds me of Katsa, but she does possess that complexity I loved so much about Katsa. She's brave and scared, soft and tough, determined and defeated. She tries to fight who she is throughout the entire novel, believing herself to be, literally, a monster. It's only when she accepts her abilities and the fact that she is her own person, not a replica of those who came before her that she finds peace, love, and friendship. She's flawed, even in her exquisite beauty, wallowing in her grief, guilt, or self-pity at some points in the novel, frustrating me, but she was always snapped out of her daze by the tough love of stern words.
Her relationships with the other characters varied. She began almost as an outcast, with one good friend, Archer, and his father. She seems to push everyone else away. People fear her because of her real father in addition to her abilities, and she holds a secret about him that could either induce more fear or cause praise. It is because of this that she blocks out her powers, refusing to really acknowledge them, drowning them in the music she loves to play. It's only when the king wants to use her strengths for 'spying' purposes in the midst of an upcoming war that she stretches her mind and allows people to see her for who she really is, even if she can't see it herself.
So many.. so many unbelievable things happen in this book. Some make you cringe.. some make you cry... others make you hold your breathe... I couldn't possibly go in to them without spoiling the book.. I'll just say Cashore knows how to take her reader by surprise..
I loved this book and the imagination and work it must have taken to live this story. It feels so real from the day-to-day events to the major thrills. Cashore creates a textured world that's dangerous and always evolving but, at the same time, filled with love and compassion. The story revolves around Fire, but the details of everything else ~ mutinous plots, war strategies, the tie-in from Graceling ~ all are finely crafted to create this brilliant story of complex and dynamic characters in a changing kingdom.
I feel like I'm rambling, but that's what Cashore does ~ she leaves you speechless, scrambling for all the things you want to say about her book.
Definitely a must-read :)
Happy Reading Everyone :)
~ Keely ~