It comes as a real pleasure to be able to recommend a book so highly as Kristin Cashore’s latest book, Fire. A book described as a “prequel-ish companion book” to Cashore’s first book, Graceling, Fire is a beautiful and wonderful story that every fantasy reader should read at least once.
Set somewhere around 30 years before the events of Graceling, this book relates the story of a kingdom to the east of the seven kingdoms and lays the groundwork for a character that appears later.
All of this is wonderful to know, but I had no idea. It’s been about a year since I read Graceling, and there have been a rather large amount of books in the meantime that have scampered through my mind, so I’m not overly surprised.
All of this is to say that Fire definitely stands on its own.
Cashore writes of a seventeen year old, Fire, who is able to influence and control people with her mind and her beauty. She gets tangled up in a royal family, gets her hands dirty with some spy work, and falls in love. It’s a wonderful story, and one that I can’t wait to share with my girlfriend (and all the readers of Fantasy Book Review).
One of the best things that I take from this book is the rules that Cashore inflicts on her worlds magic. It seems a little ridiculous – beauty being a controlling magic – but it works so very well. Cashore sets guidelines on the magic that further improve the validity of the story being told. And Fire isn’t able to do anything and everything she wants.
The story has one problem, that I can tell, and one that others might dislike. First, is the use of the Julian calendar names for the months? It’s unnecessary and a little frustrating. Secondly, and something that I actually really enjoyed of this book, was the last few chapters. They were very much a wrap up/prologue type thing, concluding story lines and very jumpy; short parts all over the place in time and space. I like that, because it leaves me feeling still connected to the characters, but I understand that some will complain that the book should have finished earlier.
Nevertheless, with those two small things behind, Fire is definitely a favourite of mine of all the books I’ve read over the last few years. Not necessarily extravagant or wide reaching in its scope, it is fun, witty and a wonderful story. And that is what I want to read!
Review by Joshua S Hill
2 positive reader review(s) for Fire
From from From
This is almost the perfect book, and I am pleased to say that the romance was much more tasteful and innocent than in Graceling. Truly a wonderful novel!
Redhead Heroines from Utah
I absolutely loved Fire. I was completely wrapped up in the story, in Fire's struggle, in the characters. I was even more immersed in this narrative than I was with Graceling, which I also loved. I think that Cashore has an amazing way of fitting so much thematically into one cohesive text. Definitely one of my top 3 books of 2010. Read my full review here: Book Review of "Fire" by Kristin Cashore
8.8/10 from 3 reviews