So I started Fire after reading Graceling (which I loved).
When I read the quick excerpt (have I mentioned how I HATE to read excerpts or reviews of books? I just like to see customer ratings), I saw that it was a contination of Graceling, so I was all like, “woohoo”.
But then the book started and there were these “monsters” and strange flying raptor/dinosaur type creatures and I was all like, “huh?”
Reading about Fire (the lead character), it took me a bit to come to grasp with who she was.
But there is something about Kristin Cashore. Her books tend to develop kind of slowly, but in that slow development something magical happens. You connect with the characters. It happened in Graceling and before I was half way done with Fire, it happened with this book too.
I was confused at how it was a sequal to Graceling, until the very end as things started to come into alignment and I realized how intertwined the two stories were.
REALLY liked this book!
This fantasy, shot through with romance and suspense, is set in the same world as Graceling (Dial, 2008), but on the far side of the mountain barrier in the kingdom of the Dells. Here there are monsters, enhanced and exceptionally beautiful versions of various animal species. Fire is a human monster, so beautiful that she has to hide her hair for fear of attack by both raptor monsters and human men. She is able to enter other people’s minds and exert power over them. It is a tumultuous time in the kingdom, as various lords are preparing to overthrow the king, and Fire is drawn into the fray. With a larger cast and a more complex canvas than Graceling, the story begins slowly and takes its time establishing itself. Fire’s path is not immediately clear, and although full of action, her quest is largely internal. While the plotting is well done, there are a few quibbles about Cashore’s world-building and about the role of a major character from Graceling, Leck. But, this is Fire’s story, and readers will fall in love with her as she struggles with her pivotal role in the war effort as well as her complex relationships with her oldest friend and lover, Archer; with Prince Brigan, whose mind is closed to her and who becomes central to her life; and with her monster father’s fearsome legacy. More adult in tone than Graceling, this marvelous prequel will appeal to older teens, who will not only devour it, but will also love talking about it.
So go out and get Graceling and Fire. You won’t be disappointed. Or at least I wasn’t disappointed.
5 stars, recommend.