Review | Fire by Kristin Cashore
Spoiler Free Review
Rating: ★★★★ / 5 stars.
Author: Kristin Cashore.
Length: 480 pages.
Trigger Warnings: infertility, death of a loved one, violence.
Graceling Realm Book #2
“Are you determined to leave me in this world to live without my heart?”
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.
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.
I was looking forward to Fire because almost every review I read said it was their favorite of the three and the story was amazing. Personally, although I really enjoyed it, I’m not sure if I liked it more than Graceling.
First of all, I do think that the main topics and Fire’s abilities are incredibly interesting and, as a whole, I do prefer them compared to Katsa’s. Because of the nature of Fire’s power, the style of the story and the direction it takes is very different, which was completely necessary for this story. But, I do think that made Part 2 drag for AGES. This book had a strong start — the exposition was excellent and I could not wait to see how all the relationships would play out. Yet, once we hit Part 2 and the novelty of it wore off, its relevance in the plot started to waver for me. There were lots of scenes that I didn’t enjoy and the build up towards what would come next had me desperate to finally read about it. Still, I will say that this middle section of the story was incredibly important and necessary regarding plot and character development (of EVERY single character no less). On that note, it was nice to see how they all changed and continued to grow, but the plot felt at a standstill compared to that aspect.
“It’s hard to wake from a nightmare when the nightmare is real.”
BUT, when part 3 started… Oh. My. GOD!!!! What a ride. I could not believe how exciting and action-packed it was! Compared to the rest of the story, this blew me away and I could not get enough of it. I read that last third of the book in a day because I could not tear myself away from it. The connection to Graceling was both infuriating but so intriguing. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I did liked the background it gave us, but I hate that character so much that it also pissed me off a lot. Anyway, the ending was realistic, which means that it hurt, but I’m coming to realize that that’s part of the magic of this series.
My favorite thing about this novel, by far, were the relationships. Every type of relationship here—parents, siblings, love interests, friendships—all of them were astounding. When the book starts off, it’s almost as if everyone is on their own and most of them feel like they don’t have good support system. Watching them all get to know each other and learn to love and trust one another, eventually becoming a family, was beautiful.
“I must stop wishing for things to happen. Because something will happen eventually, and when it does, I’ll be bound to wish it hadn’t.”
Side note: I admire how Kristin Cashore decided to include very important topics in the book (and on the first installment as well) such as infertility and a woman’s power over her body, and made sure to do so in a respectful and realistic manner. I love how the author gives the characters motives and objectives, and makes them happen, having everyone around them show their support. It’s a great example of how things should be like on our day to day lives.
Overall, I liked it very much and it is the perfect sequel for Graceling, carrying its unique punch and strength. I am very excited to continue with the series and, hopefully, get to see some of these characters in the next installment. I definitely recommend Fire if you enjoy found-family, strong female characters, and the most endearing romance you can ever imagine (Brigan is amazing)!!
Setting: ★★★.8 / 5 stars.
Plot: ★★★★ / 5 stars.
Characters: ★★★★🌟 / 5 stars.
Writing: ★★★★🌟 / 5 stars.
Pacing: ★★.8 / 5 stars.
My main rating is not an average from my breakdown, but an estimate of my personal enjoyment.