Author: Kristin Cashore
Release Date: October 5, 2009
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.Review:Kristin Cashore blew me away with her debut novel Graceling. When I’d read Graceling, Fire had already been released. I was hesitant to read Fire because I didn’t know how it would be. After reading Fire, though, I am no longer worried. Kristin Cashore’s writing was just as engaging and beautiful as before.
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.
Fire is set about 30 some years before Graceling in the land called The Dells. The impossible mountains to climb in Graceling? The Dells is on the other side. Such a different world from Graceling yet similar too. the description that Cashore put in for this new setting was…very visible. I could see the world in my head.
The plot was long. There was a lot of description and background but in an overall sense, it was necessary. First, we had to know what was happening and why. Second, the reader does not want to be confused or lost. The reader wants to understand the book and to do that, there has to be background information. With variations in the pace of the events and actions, Fire was a whirlwind of everything.
Fire, our protagonist, is the last remaining human monster. She is both loved and hated by the people. Her ability to control people’s minds in greatly feared but wanted to be used as well. Fire was a strong, independent girl who knew what she wanted…most of the time. This novel is basically this girl’s journey and need to distinguish herself from her father and this made her…guarded, independent, and well, stubborn. I didn’t connect with her as I connected with Katsa and I think it’s due to the fact that a lot of times during this book, Fire is so unstable. She also wasn’t open enough for me.
There were a lot of secondary characters in this book, so sometimes I got confused. Sure a lot of them weren’t there as often as others, but it still got confusing. I liked and disliked each character for their own reason. Archer, for one, was a ladies’ man. He was in love with Fire and wanted her to marry him. Whenever he asked and she said no, he’d take a woman to bed. I liked him for his bravery and loyalty but he got annoying sometimes too. Brigan was a character I initially didn’t like. He was so mean and cold hearted. After reading more about him, though, my thoughts changed. I saw (as did Fire) that he’d had a lot happen in his life, most of which wasn’t pleasant, and that is what made him the way he was.
I should add that there was more sex in this novel than there was in Graceling. There isn’t a lot of description but it’s mentioned and referred to. The plot got more complicated when an illegitimate child was born or revealed. I was confused as to who was whose child and I had to pause a few times to figure out.
Overall? Fire was a good book that showed Cashore’s excellent writing ability. I liked Graceling better than this one, but only by a little. It had a great amount of action, mystery, danger, adventure, romance, obsession, and so much more. I can’t wait for Bitterblue!