Sunday, January 25, 2015

Fire (Graceling Realm #2) by Kristin Cashore

Synopsis: "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."

Title: Fire
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Series: Graceling Realm #2
Pages: 461
Ages: 14+
My Rating: 5 stars
One Word: beauty-ful
Fave Quote: "'The moment I began to love you was the moment when you saw your fiddle smashed on the ground, and you turned away from me and  cried against your horse. Your sadness is one of the things that makes you beautiful to me. Don't you see that? I understand it. It makes my own sadness less frightening'" (456).

Although the premise of this novel was very similar to Cashore's first book, Graceling (just swap out the Gracelings for monsters), it undeniably surpassed it in my mind. The reason is yet to be determined, but I'll have my money on the characters because in Fire I felt like I connected to the main character, Fire, easily (and not just because I have red hair too!). She is so compassionate and loving and will do anything for anyone she loves, and I connected to her not because she is similar to me, but she is someone who I want to be.

Cashsore's ability to display romance so purely and realistically also made the novel very beautifully written. I most likely said this in my review of Graceling, but she gradually makes the two characters fall in love through their experiences in the novel, and their love isn't washy either. The love that Fire gives to everyone is so deep and compassionate that I wish I could meet her and become her friend just so I could feel her strong supportive care.

Another reason why this book surpassed the first was because of the change of setting. I thought the Dells would be a fascinating place to visit with it's intriguing royal family (*cough cough* Brigan). Nash, Garan, Clara, Brigan, Roen, Brocker, Archer; they were all unique and lively and the relationship Fire creates with them is interesting to read. I don't know how Cashore does it, but she managed to create so many characters and yet have them each significantly stand out. Can Small count as my favorite character? If not then Brigan would be for sure with his loving and caring attitude towards Fire.

Writing this review, I thought of yet another reason for why this book was so good. It shows that beauty can be a manipulative and dangerous thing to have for some people, but for others like Fire it could seem like an undeserving and horrific thing to have, although Fire learns in the end that beauty is not the only reason why everyone is so fond of her. It is also her compassion and lovingness that makes her stand out.

I wish there could be another book with Fire in it (I'm not sure if Bitterblue has her in it yet) because I'm dying to read on and see if they find the "Graceling world" or not. Fire definitely upped Graceling and Cashore left me feeling satisfied, relieved, and heartbroken at the end for finishing such a noteworthy and brilliant novel.

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