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. Summary from Dust Jacket
Even though, Fire is a prequel, sort of, to Graceling, you don’t have to read Graceling before you read Fire because there’s only one cross-over character. But, once you read Fire, you’ll want to read Graceling.
I really enjoyed Fire and it has earned a spot on my Favorites shelf. I thought the story was very intriguing and captivating. There were a lot of elements I enjoyed immensely, such as friendship, betrayal, heartbreak, grief, and love.
I loved the concept of monsters and their powers just as much as I loved the concept of Gracelings and their Graces. It was interesting to see mind powers from so many different points of view. I loved watching Fire grow into herself and becoming the woman she wanted to be.
I also loved the delicate weaving of the cross-over character into the plot. Even though he didn’t have a huge part to play in this book, I think the effect he had on the inhabitants of the Dells could be used in future books like Bitterblue. (Bitterblue is a sequel-ish book to Graceling that Kristin Cashore’s currently working on.) However, even if she doesn’t tie all three books together through the cross-over character, I still thought his role in Fire was interesting.