Series: Graceling Realm #2
Author: Kristin Cashore
Age Group: Young Adult
Published: October 5, 2009 by Dial Books
It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. The young King Nash clings to his throne while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. The mountains and forests are filled with spies and thieves and lawless men.My Review: While I am not as in love with this book as I was with the first, I still utterly enjoyed reading it. I loved seeing a different perspective of this world that Kristin Cashore has made and, really, a completely new world within that world. I thought I would really miss not having Katsa and Po in this companion novel but the new characters we met were too different and so real, there was really no room in my head for missing them while I read. This story was so completely different from the first that I was never was missing the first book.
This is where Fire lives. With a wild, irresistible appearance and hair the color of flame, Fire is the last remaining human monster. Equally hated and adored, she had the unique ability to control minds, but she guards her power, unwilling to steal the secrets of innocent people. Especially when she has so many of her own.
Then Prince Brigan comes to bring her to King City, The royal family needs her help to uncover the plot against the king. Far away from home, Fire begins to realize there's more to her power than she ever dreamed. Her power could save the kingdom.
If only she weren't afraid of becoming the monster her father was.
First of all, I have to just five major props to the author of this book. Every single time I read one of her novels, I am just completely blown away by how thorough and well thought out the world building is. The imagery and descriptions she uses makes everything so vivid and realistic. I could picture every single thing that was happening so easily. And I have to tell you, if was so beautiful. Even when things we bleak and terrible, everything was still beautiful because of how colorful and lovely the creatures and people in the world are. It's an untrustworthy beauty, though, which made it all the more exciting.
I was surprised by how incredibly different our main characters were in this novel than in the previous one. Generally, you can always feel a bit of the old character that an author wrote in their new ones. But Fire was definitely not Katsa. She was a softer and more vulnerable character than Katsa could ever be and very sweet and nurturing. At the same time, she felt like she was a terrible person, though she had never done anything to give this credibility. It was painful to see the way she punished herself because of what her father did. Despite all of that, she stayed the caring and strong person she always was and made sacrifices to right the wrongs of her father.
We also have Prince Brigan. I loved his entire story line. He was just as complex as Fire and I had as much fun learning about his past as I did learning about Fire's. His loyalty and dedication to his kingdom and his family was so admirable and I loved how slowly his opinion and feelings for Fire grew. He was not won over by her beauty but, instead, by her personality. The way their relationship grew made all of their moments together that much sweeter. He was an incredibly awesome hero and I just want to see more of him!
The story line of this novel kept things engaging and interesting. There was so much mystery surrounding the past and I loved how things unfolded and how we were able to connect everything together. This made the ending seriously satisfying. The way everything tied together made me happy but not too happy. It was a realistic close and I appreciated that immensely.
Fire is a book of outrageously thorough world building, unique and diverse characters, and a plot that, while filled with magic, I found very realistic. I know this will be a book that I will go back to and enjoy in the future!