Fire (Graceling Realm #2)
By: Kristin Cashore
Published: 2009 by Dial 461 pages
Source: Personal Library
Goodreads description—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.
Exquisitely romantic, this companion to the highly praised Graceling has an entirely new cast of characters, save for one person who plays a pivotal role in both books. You don’t need to read Graceling to love Fire. But if you haven’t, you’ll be dying to read it next.
I have to say I was impressed with Fire. I hadn’t really heard much about it, but what I had heard was essentially that it was “good” but “not as good as Graceling.” And I’m not sure I can agree with that. Maybe it has something to do with how I didn’t really have any expectations for this book and therefore felt more free to enjoy it, but I enjoyed it better than Graceling.
Fire, our main character, doesn’t just have a super-human ability, she’s a monster. Now, it took me a while to actually figure out what exactly that meant and to get accustom to the differences of the Gracelings from the idea of the monsters. But Fire’s ability doesn’t make her infallible. It doesn’t give her super-strength, the ability to take a punch (or an arrow). She doesn’t have accelerated fighting skills or an uncanny ability to survive. Yes she has an ability, and I suppose it can be useful in trying to save herself from death, specifically if that death is trying to come in the form of another human being. But it’s not a fail-safe. It’s not a sure-fire, death-free protection. In a lot of cases, Fire’s ability and being who she is, a monster, puts her in more danger not less. And that, I can respect. I thought Katsa’s Grace was convenient, but that’s just not the case for Fire.
I was troubled, however in the beginning, when yet again we find another character that appears to be so adamantly against marriage. And I wondered if this book would be the one that succeeds at having an existing relationship stand the entirety of the book. But as the story progresses I quickly find out that is not the case and perhaps the reason Fire is so against marrying Archer is because he’s just not right for her. This really is a frustration to me. I completely understand not wanting to marry someone that’s not right for you. But once you find the one that is, what’s the hang up? Like I said in my review of Graceling, it’s just hard for me to relate because I was the complete opposite. *Sigh*
I did really like Fire’s relationship development with Brigan. Brigan is an important figure in the kingdom being the commander of the king’s army and a prince and all. So he’s constantly going north, south, here, there, everywhere. And I totally felt that “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Every time he’d tell Fire he was leaving, I was always like “AGAIN???” But it made the relationship feel more real to me, and it also made it feel more grown up. I completely understand wanting to be with your special someone as much as time allows, but sometimes in the real world, it’s just doesn’t happen as often as you’d like.
Overall, I really enjoyed Fire. More than I expected to. 4 Stars. Have any of you read Fire? If so, what did you think?