Fire (Graceling Realm #2)
by Kristin Cashore
What is it about:
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.
What did I think of it:
This is a really cool read.
I liked the idea of monster versions of normal animals: unnaturally colored and vicious. Fire is a human monster, but she hates her powers, and what she can do with them. Her way of trying to deal with what she is, made for a compelling story.
There was also a lot going on with feuding lords, conspiracies, and what not, but that was just a backdrop for the story of Fire's personal growth in my opinion. Reading about her, about how she tries to bloom after years of hiding away was what made this an interesting story. I will confess though that I love stories where characters are faced with moral dilemmas. What makes a person turn to doing evil? What makes another decide differently?
Although this is the second book in the series, it is chronologically set before Graceling.
This is probably done because a character from Graceling is in this book, and knowing some events in this book might have spoiled some things in Graceling
Even so: I will confess that the events linking this book to Graceling felt unnecessary, and they didn't really add to the story in my opinion. I do wonder however if maybe Fire's story will have an impact on the next book in this series, and if maybe the linking events in this book will make sense to me once I've read Bitterblue.
Luckily I have Bitterblue in my TBR pile, so I will soon find out.
Why should you read it:
It's a very cool YA Fantasy read.