A must-read title for all fans of Patrick Rothfuss and Trudi Canavan, FIRE is an exceptional fantasy novel.
From the deft characterisation to the gripping story, the fast-paced action to the evocative prose, this is one of the strongest fantasy novels of the year.
Set in a world of stunningly beautiful, exceptionally dangerous monsters, Fire is one of the most dangerous monsters of all - a human one.
Marked out by her vivid red hair, she's more than attractive.
Fire is mesmerising. But with this extraordinary beauty comes influence and power.
People who are susceptible to her appeal will do anything for her attention, and for her affection.
They will turn away from their families, their work, and their duties for her.
They will forget their responsibilities to please her ...and worse, crush nations, neglect kingdoms and abuse their power. Aware of her power, and afraid of it, Fire lives in a corner of the world away from people, and away from temptation.
Until the day comes when she is needed - a day when, for her king, she has to take a stand not only against his enemies, but also against herself ...
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 400 pages, map
- Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
- Publication Date: 28/02/2009
- Category: Fantasy
- ISBN: 9780575085138
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.
Review by litaddictedbrit
I loved Graceling so I was really looking forward to reading this and I wasn’t disappointed! The book starts by re-introducing the delightfully creepy Leck from Graceling. The reader follows Leck and his unfortunate father from the Seven Kingdoms to the Dells - a land where humans are pitted against monsters and Lords are pitted against each other. The Dells is as vast as the Seven Kingdoms were and both novels are rich in their scope. I’ve seen this book criticised for making Fire’s “power” being unimaginably beautiful and able to control the thoughts and actions of those around her and surviving on her looks alone - upsetting to strong feminists indeed. But I disagree - Fire is described as a ‘monster’ and that’s exactly how she sees herself; something unnatural and abhorrent. I know that the “Oh, I’m so beautiful it’s a curse” line might not wash with everyone but I found I respected Fire for trying to live without using her unusual gifts and actually did find her endearing. The supporting characters are also great, in particular the lovely Commander Brigan (who I imagined to be a bit like the delicious Viggo Mortenson as Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings films) and adorable Hanna. This novel is set in a city and deals a lot more with hierarchy and power struggles which gave it a similar feel to a historical fiction - I personally love a bit of court intrigue so it was a perfect combination for me. There was plenty of action and plenty of romance and I was completely gripped until the very end! My only (very minor) objection was that the idea of graces, which was so unique in Graceling, was mentioned in Fire but never expanded upon - I would have liked to see the two novels brought together a little more. This didn't feel to me like a prequel at all and a reader could easily enjoy either novel as a stand-alone, which is great for those who don't like being tied to a series (unlike me - I love a good epic series!)Overall: I would definitely recommend this book as it’s a light read with plenty of gripping action and surprises and I’ll be eagerly awaiting Bitterblue, the third in this ‘series’.
Review by iftyzaidi
When I picked this up, I did so assuming it was the first book in the 'Graceling' series. So I was a bit perturbed to find out that it was a prequel. Combine this with the fact that the cover blurb proclaimed that this was what Twilight fans had been waiting for and it was with a sense of foreboding that I started reading.I needn't have worried. Its a fairly decent read. Also coming to it without having read 'Graceling' takes away nothing from the reading experience. In fact it seems to work perfectly well as a stand-alone work, both story wise and thematically.There are scores of reviews which outline the plot out there so instead of doing that I would like to point out a couple of criticisms which prevented me from giving it four stars. The first is that Fire decides to use her powers in support of, and work for, the royal family against the various usurpers when there is absolutely no moral reason to do so. At no point do any of the factions distinguish themselves from each other in terms of their behaviour. All factions are equally ready to deceive, assassinate, and commit mass murder to achieve victory. The only reason Fire decides to put aside her reservations with using her powers to help the royal family is because she is attracted to one of them. Her putting aside of reservations and the use of powers to manipulate and pry on the thoughts and emotions of others is presented as an act of personal growth and empowerment. But I couldn't help feeling that from an ethical perspective she was a better person for not using her powers in that way.The second quibble has to do with the number of times she breaks down and ends up a sobbing wreck (usually in the stable with her horse). Yes, she undergoes a number of traumatic experiences which would leave anyone a quivering wreck, but by the end the number of such breakdowns starts becoming a wee bit tiresome, especially given the strength of personality she displayed in her dealings with her father.Anyway, quibbles aside, this was an entertaining read.
Review by kw50197
beautifully written, haunting and lovely tale of growth
Review by Elysianfield
There are monsters in Dell, beautiful in animal form and humans become dazzled by them. Fire is the last human monster and is much feared and hated. Monsters are drawn to her blood and wants to kill her. <br/>War is coming to Dell and the king needs her talents because she can bend people to her will. Her father was advisor for the previous king and a cruel man so Fire isn’t liked or trusted in the city.<br/><br/>I’m surprised how much I enjoyed this book since I wasn’t huge fan of Graceling and I felt it was way too YA. At first I thought it was just ok but it got better and better towards the end.<br/><br/>I liked Fire who was strong and she was always trying to be the opposite of her father. And I liked how we have flashbacks about their relationship and what happened. The book has great characters and I really liked Brigan and Archer. Fire and Archer were childhood sweethearts but I think that she got over him little too easily. Like she just suddenly thought she had enough. <br/><br/>Since I liked this so much more than the debut book, can’t wait to see what she does with the next one, Looking forward reading it!