- Orion Publishing Co
- Publication Date:
- 06 January 2011
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Fire is a monster. Not because of who she is or what she's done, but because of what she is, and what her father was. Monsters are not uncommon in the Dells, all being bright and beautiful and unnaturally coloured, what is uncommon is a human monster; and Fire is the last.However, not all monsters are distinguished by their bright vibrant rainbow of colours. Some are the most unassuming of people, others are greedy and hateful men, and others still are dark memories that refuse to rest. In a world on the edge of disaster, is Fire the one to fear as the bringer of destruction, or will she be the only chance of survival?Fire must make a choice, between what she was born to be, and what she wants to be. There is a war coming, enemies at every turn and murder on everyone's mind. Everybody has a secret, and the past is fast catching up with the present. Not everyone will survive and those that do will have blood on their hands. But not all is lost, for one way or the other the war will end, and with that ending there will be a new beginning.In Graceling we are introduced to stories and rumours of rainbow coloured monsters in the land beyond the seven kingdoms. In Fire we learn that these stories are true. Fire may have been born a monster, but she is more human then most. And as Fire discovers, some of the scariest monsters were born human.Fire is a story that draws you in, taking you on a journey that is full of twist and turns and surprises. It is both intriguing and insightful as death, loss and heartache are experienced. But this fast paced and entertaining story also holds hope, love and new life. Fire is a strong and powerful character that has also the ability for vulnerability. Despite her monsterness and great beauty she is warm and relatable; a stunning heroine.
In the Dells there live monsters of breathtaking beauty. With scales and fur of every hue, the country side at times is itself a rainbow. The monsters are lovely, and their magnificence lulls you, drawing you in, entranced by the visions before you, making you long to possess or touch them.And then they kill you.The monsters of the Dells are creatures to fear for even the most harmless ones are still monsters. And there aren't only monster animals, with their flashing beaks and talons itching for blood. There are human monsters too, of unsurpassed resplendence who are so beautiful it hurts to look at them and who's beauty, just as with other monsters, can draw you in to your death.Fire is a human monster with the power to alter the minds and thoughts of humans and monsters alike. In a kingdom riddled with unrest, on the brink of war, a monster with the ability to detect a liar, redirect an assassin or even, more importantly, influence a king could be a great asset or she could be a greater danger to the kingdom then it's sworn enemies ever could.Even Fire, with all her beauty and power has enemies. Men and women seek to control her, or possess her, both out of love and loathing and she has learned to steel her mind and body against them- but there are things that not even Fire can protect herself from.The Dells know nothing of the seven kingdoms beyond the mountains and they are unaware of the existence of the Graced. They would never think twice about a young boy with one eye gray and the other red, even if they watched him engage in acts of cruelty or control. They would believe him kind, and good- if he told them to.I type this book-drunk. My head is spinning and I'm not quite sure how I got here and the last thing I can remember is being on a horse, riding towards an enemy army and then the rest is a blur. How it comes to pass that I am sitting on a couch in the safety of my own home I guess I'll never figure out because as far as I know, I haven't been here and I don't even live here anymore.Cashore writes of Gracelings and monsters- creatures with powers we could never comprehend existing in our mundane lives. She writes fantasy fiction, straight forward and true to form but where she differs, and far excels others in her genre is in her uncanny ability to completely remove her reader from reality- mind, body and soul and plant them quite fixedly in the world of her creation where she doesn't even have to compel them to stay because they truly don't want to leave. In her world, it is her characters who have the power, but I think Cashore's Grace far surpasses those of her heroes and heroines.Fire is a superb creation. Imaginative, vivid and at times disturbing. She creates a past already severe on its own and then meticulously adds details to it that pull at all the threads of your heart. I feel so awful for what Fire has suffered and suffers but I never once pitied her, for she's far too strong for that. And oh the romance in this book! I've never wanted to see two people together more! I'm enamoured of these books and their world. An instant favorite, just like it's predecessor. I -loved- this book and I feel lost outside of it. You can read this without having read Graceling but the impact of one particular character's involvement will be lost on you. He's there to scare you and he's much scarier if you already know who he is.
The protagonist of Kristen Cashore's second book has a lot in common with Katsa, the main character from her debut novel, Graceling. Both are enormously powerful women who are terrified of using their own great talents, and even more frightened of having their powers exploited by others. But the ways that their powers manifest is very different. While Katsa's Grace is extremely physical, and her struggle to hold herself back was always concerned mainly with her body, Fire's struggle is primarily a mental one. Fire is a monster, which means that she is unbelievable beautiful and can control other people with her mind. She is the only human monster left in the Dells. Fire chooses not to use her power, constantly fighting to keep from becoming like her father, who greatly misused his ability. She must also deal with the suspicion, hate, and lust that her stunning beauty and her power inspire in others. But her father's machinations have left the country approaching war and ruin, and Fire's reluctant use of her abilities may be the only thing that can save the Dells. While I, personally, didn't connect with Fire as well as I did with Katsa, that did not stop this book from being a rip-roaring good story. (And really, is it much of a surprise that it is harder to relate to someone who is so perfectly gorgeous and powerful?) And as much as I'm sad to have left Katsa and Po behind, it was delightful to meet this new group of wonderfully complex characters. The royal family is a treat - every member constantly surprises with new layers. And Prince Brigan rivals even my beloved Po as a love interest. There is one holdover from Graceling - we meet King Leck as a boy. His monstrosity, as a human who can control minds through his Grace, provides a foil for Fire's humanity, as a monster who struggles to use her powers wisely and well. I do wish we were given a little bit more insight into why Leck is so inhuman - I assume that it is just as a result of always being able to get what he wants. But he is so extreme. And since we only see him as a child through the eyes of his father, whose mind Leck has controlled for many years, the reader doesn't come away with a very clear picture of how he becomes so warped. Unlike the other characters we meet in Cashore's worlds, Leck feels very one-note.Cashore is masterful at using little movements and changes in posture and bearing to show a character's thoughts. It's a little thing, but it's done so consistently well - she's got show-don't-tell down to a science. The little descriptions are constant, especially during dialogue between Fire and Brigan, but they never feel extraneous or distracting from the action. Each character has their own little vocabulary of movement, just as they each have their own patterns of speech. It's just one example of the many ways that Cashore brings the characters' subtext to the surface. This was one of the things I enjoyed most about Graceling, and I was pleased to see it continue in Fire. I think it's one of the reason's that her romances are SO good - we actually see them developing not just through words, actions, and thoughts, but also through the characters' physicality.Kristin Cashore is an enormous talent. Once again, her book swept me away with wonderful characters, sweeping adventure, and a sizzling romance. I will be waiting impatiently for Bitterblue, the third book set in this world.
An epic medieval adventure mixed with the right amount of fantasy and suspense to have you craving for more! This is what you'll get when reading Fire.Fire is a monster. A being of extreme beauty able to mind control any weak or willing mind in her surroundings. She is the last human monster and many try to make sure there will never be someone else like her by ending her days.In a time of war, there are more important matters though. Fire have been summoned by King Nash to help him in an imminent war, but will she help him? Her powers are so terrible, how could she use them? I really loved the book in so many ways! Fire is one lovely women. A monster yes, but so much more then that. A great mind, great morality, decided to do the greater good even though she has a shady past.Many very interesting characters are involved during her journey and I found myself very fond of Brigan. Mysterious, handsome, talented and so out of reach!Kristin bring us so deep in the medieval atmosphere that you feel right in the middle of the action all the time, I could totally picture myself in a stone castle plotting to put an end to the kingdom's enemies.I haven't read Graceling yet (ordered it right as I finished Fire though) so I can't tell you how Fire fits in. I read the resume of Graceling and I'm kinda sad because it doesn't seem like I can expect to see Fire or Brigan in that novel. Hopefully I am wrong!Fire release in September or October depending on your country, but you gotta pre-order that book! Every fantasy lover out there will fall for that book hands down!
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