Thursday 27 January 2011

Review: Fire - Kristin Cashore

Seven Kingdoms, 2

Genre: YA, Fantasy
Pages: 384
Published: 2010 Gollancz

Beautiful creatures called monsters live in the Dells. Monsters have the shape of normal animals: mountain lions, dragonflies, horses, fish. But the hair or scales or feathers of monsters are gorgeously colored-- fuchsia, turquoise, sparkly bronze, iridescent green-- and their minds have the power to control the minds of humans.

Seventeen-year-old Fire is the last remaining human-shaped monster in the Dells. Gorgeously monstrous in body and mind but with a human appreciation of right and wrong, she is hated and mistrusted by just about everyone, and this book is her story.

Fire is a monster. She is beautiful beyond words, and people either love or or want to kill her.  The animal monsters want to eat her. And the Kingdom of Dell is in trouble and she is called to court to help.

My thoughts: 
This is not a series that needs to be read in order, since this book takes place before book 1 Graceling. And this one takes place in Dell, and they do not even know about the seven kingdoms. But there is a young boy here, a graceling, with a terrible power and he was later in Graceling.

I really enjoyed this book. Which is funny because I did not like Graceling, which was too YA (yes I know but for me it was too much, too simple and too sweet.) While Fire was the opposite. And it did not feel YA either, it walked that line in between. The language was more YA, but the rest not.

And it had such a great heroine, Fire was broken, yet strong, and she did not want to bend people to her will. She would rather be shot (and was) than to stop someone with her mind. And her power was terrible. Some loved the sight of her and wanted to touch her, while other men saw her, knew they could not have her and wanted to kill her. 

The kingdom of Dell was also well-written. There were animals, and then monsters, people would stop in awe and get eaten. They were as terrible and beautiful as Fire.

The book had some wonderful characters, Archer who slept around a lot, Brigan, the prince who leads the armies and who does not trust her. King Nash who wants her the minute he sees her, and more. 

There was also this tone in the book, like I was there but at the same time not. Like I was hearing a story about the beautiful monster who wanted none of the powers she had.

Recommendation and final thoughts:
Do read this one, great fantasy, nice world, and a remarkable woman. The book also shows what beauty can do, and it is not always pretty. A rich world, strange magic, a hint of romance and the struggle for a kingdom.

Reason for reading:
I wanted to give her another go and I am so glad I did.



  1. I love the cover. Great review. I'll add this to my tbr list!

  2. Now you sold me this book instantly - if I can get it I will read it for sure. Nice, well-rounded review, thanks!

  3. I haven't yet start this series but do have copies of both books on my shelf. Sounds like a great fantasy that feature a strong female figure. Surely hope that I'll love it as much as you did once I start reading it =)

  4. Wow. That cover is striking! Glad you enjoyed this one Blodeuedd!!

  5. I loved this book even more than Graceling! Fabulous review, Linda! Cashore is genius :)

  6. I have both Fire and Graceling sitting on my shelf to read. I really enjoyed your review! I definitely think I'll like Fire.

  7. Love the cover. Okay, I want to get this one. I was supposed to get Graceling, but it never came (failed win). However, I may get this one first anyway.

  8. While I enjoyed fire I actually much preferred Graceling. Though I can't really remember why anymore. I really like the whole magical world that Cashore built here and really hope that she explores the idea of Grace a bit more. So far all of those with Grace have been aristocratic and I would be interested in reading a story about one of the lower class ones.

  9. I haven't read Graceling first. I will now just to get to Fire.

  10. I didn't read Graceling, but this one sounds really, YA that I might enjoy.

  11. Hi B!

    I picked this book up from the library, but never got around to reading it, and it had to go back. Now, I wish I had! On my next trip, I'll try to pick it up again. Glad they don't have to be read, they didn't have Graceling.

    Dottie :)

  12. Forgot to say the cover art on this edition is much better than the US edition!! Why is it always that way??


    Dottie :)

  13. Linda
    The cover is pure magic, truly love it. it made me wanna read the book too ;)

    I do recommend it, as for book 1, not so much. But give it a go, and do read this one first since it takes place before.

    I hope you will enjoy it. There was certainly something wonderfully magical about the book, and the writing

  14. VFG
    They hit gold with this one, much better than the other version I have seen of it

    It was so good, I am truly glad to have read it. I would even read it again :D

    *nods* just let that mouse direct you to an online store ;)

    I hope you will, it was so good, and I do love fantasy

  15. Melissa
    Oh no :( I hate when wins do not show up, been there and it sucks. But hey then you get to read Fire first :)

    Really, I am the opposite. I did not care for the graces at all, but the monsters fascinated me. I would love to read more about Dell. I hope she explores that

    Sounds like a good place, order is always nice

    It was, I know that too YA is silly really, I mean YA is YA. but Graceling was just too much of the reason why I prefer adult books. While Fire was magic

  16. Chris
    One day :)

    Can't help you there, but this time they sure did it right :)

    If they don't have G then you are just fine. Start with Fire, I sure would. Because then you really have the back story about a character in that just confused me in that book. But it also works great as a stand alone.

  17. I have both books but haven't read those yet. Good thing you read the other too and that it was better :)

  18. I'm glad you liked this one: I liked FIRE better than GRACELING too.

  19. Great review and what a nice cover!

  20. Interesting. I have heard only great things about Graceling and mixed about Fire until recently. Now it seems to be the opposite and I'm hearing more from people who didn't love Graceling.
    It's always good to have a few different opinions first.

  21. I loooooved graceling!! can't wait to read this one too!

  22. I didnt know this one took place b4 Graceling... interesting...

    Great review hon! =D

  23. I have both books on my shelves waiting to be read. I'm trying to finish off a couple book series this year so maybe I will actually get to this one.

  24. I read Graceling in the beginning of my YA reading phase and actually really liked it. I read this on at the end of my YA phase and thought it was okay. I love the imagery and the characters. Definitely a more mature storyline too. But overall, quite good. :)

  25. I need to read this book. I have seen the translated copy around of it at the library! But first I want to give Graceling a try. Great review.

  26. Now this book looks interesting and with a beautiful cover!!

  27. i like this cover better than the red version. glad to hear that i don't have to read graceling first. although i do have graceling in the hopper to read soon. wonder how i'll like it.

  28. Elysium
    Start with Fire and then move on to Graceling :)

    It had such a different feel to it. And the monsters were fascinating

    I do love that cover

    I heard the same. People loved Graceling and I wondered why I did not. And then I loved Fire instead. I do like to hear both sides before reading

  29. Carrie
    Then I am sure you are gonna love Fire too :D

    It's a bit weird, perhaps she had written book 1 and wanted to explore another country

    Great plan. I started doing that last year too, finish at least one series..working on that still ;)

  30. Julie
    I do wonder if there is someone who love both books just as much. People seems to always prefer one of them, and I the prefer one so much more

    I hope it is a good translation :D Though I would still say read Fire first, since it is a prequel

    I know, I love it!

    Most do seem to like Graceling so I am sure you will too :) if not then I promise Fire is better, lol

  31. Another series to be on the lookout for, great review ;)

  32. Thanks Naida :)
    One I do recommened

  33. I agree with everyone - this book sounds like a great series I need to get into!

  34. I have both this one and Graceling on my shelf here, and really want to read them. Now I have to find the time to get to them. ;) Thank you for the great review.

  35. Melissa
    I hope you find some time between all those other books :) Since it is fantasy ;)

  36. Wonderful review, B! I was surprised to read that you liked it since I know you didn't enjoy Graceling all that much. I have yet to read Fire but now I wish I had it here!

  37. Ladybug
    I was surprised too, I had a feeling that I would think it was ok, but it was so much more. I mean I would re-read it, totally :) Such a different feel to the book

  38. I prefer this one to Graceling, too. I think it was a much more mature and sophisticated story. Hope the third one is, too!

  39. Aarti
    Much more mature, I did feel Graceling lacked that, and sure sometimes I like normal YA, but something was missing there. So glad Fire rocked



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