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.
Gee, another book Lauren's already reviewed! I actually did read Fire first though- Lauren's just faster at posting reviews than me. :/
First Impressions: Prequel! To Graceling! By Kristin Cashore! You can probably tell by my exclamation marks that I knew it was going to be amazing. I'd previously read reviews that said Fire is even better than Graceling, and I loved the latter, so Fire had to be wonderful. Plus, we got the wonderful UK cover which I'm absolutely in love with. (Lauren prefers US which is why she put the US cover on her review. She's weird. BUT this means I get to keep the UK version, so whatever.)
Ah, but Fire. It's indeed wonderful.
Fire starts out with a bang, with lots of action and excitement. I found the middle to be slower, but no less thrilling. Fire as a book is completely enthralling; I couldn't bear to put it down for anything. I devoured it, which recently, I haven't done to any book. (Darn school.)
Fire as the character is a monster. But she doesn't use her powers needlessly, she isn't cruel about it like her father, who amused himself by torturing and manipulating others. No, Fire feels and cares for other people. For a human monster, she's a lot more human than quite a few of the actual human characters in the novel. Fire is strong, brave, fiery like her hair, and just an overall amazing main character! Really, she should be the role model for girls all over, instead of... certain others.
Fire is the best type of fantasy out there. Hugely entertaining to read, while thought-provoking and easily relate able to modern life. There's many subtle messages on strength, belief, loving others, etc.
The only that disappointed me in the novel was the lack of relationship to Graceling. Fire isn't even set in the same world as Graceling! There's one character cross-over, but he doesn't play as much of a role as I thought he would. Still. That doesn't make Fire any less of the novel it is.
My heart broke and soared with Fire. Seriously. When Fire was heart-broken, I was devastated. When she was happy and in love, I couldn't feel anything else at all but cheerfulness. That's how deep Fire will pull you in.
Final Impressions: The writing is stunning. The characters are fabulous. The plot's well paced and always interesting. Really, you need to read Fire, especially if you're one of the many to love Graceling.
Add to Shelf: Of course! I'd say, pre-order it. Fire is worth it.