Fire by Kristin Cashore

Fire by Kristin CashoreTitle: Fire
Author: Kristin Cashore
Series: Graceling Realms #2
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, YA
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
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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.



  1. ouisa says

    (Tiny Spoilers)

    I love her characters. Her heroines are just fantastic. They own themselves, their actions and desires in strong and inspiring ways. They don’t act like conventional heroines, but I think they act the way modern women do. It’s nice to read about women that I can truly identify with. And her MEN! Oh my my my! Just thinking about Po makes my stomach fluttery and I’m quite fond of Brigan as well. Archer I wasn’t so crazy about. I like that the overprotective boy wasn’t the one in favor of the heroine. I’m kinda over the overprotective boys.

  2. says

    So after I graduate I want to read a lot! It sounds like you really like series, so, besides Twilight, which is your favorite, and what would you recommend the most?

  3. Violet says

    I really liked Fire too! *Minor Spoilers Ahead* Hooray for another fabulous heroine from Kristin Cashore! I loved Fire’s strength, intelligence, and selflessness. And I was constantly impressed by her courage. I liked that in addition to her admirable personal resolve, she also had a very relatable tenderness & insecurity at times. And I liked that she had some uniquely feminine issues to deal with too – like PMS & a biological clock that was at odds with her personal commitment. One of my very favorite things about books by fabulous authors like Kristin Cashore & Tamora Pierce is the way their heroines’ openly and maturely explore dilemmas & concerns about universally-relevant topics like menstruation, sexuality, and contraception.

    And frankly, seeing a heroine’s prospective suitor listen to her & react in a compassionate, attentive way toward her concerns & feelings can be far more endearing than almost anything else they might possibly do. Deliciously handsome suitors who spend their days practicing their phenomenal archery & sword-fighting skills shirtless can certainly seem lovely & entertaining, but at the end of the day I’ll take the man who is sensitive to your PMS-induced mood swings & has a healer standing by to ease your cramps & headache please. :) On that note, how wonderfully lovable was Brigan? Kind + thoughtful + intelligent + devoted to his family & his country = awesome & swoon-worthy.

    The only complaint I have about the book is that it was a little too predictable at times, and a couple of the twists seemed a tiny bit too convenient. Still, I would highly recommend it & I definitely look forward to reading both Fire and Graceling again soon.

    Jenni – I agree that the concept of the monsters was just as intriguing as the Graces. I found it very interesting to hear about the early years of the crossover character. Fire’s interactions with him were excellent in the way they perfectly illustrated the differences between her sense of ethics & his.

    Ouisa – I have to say that I was hugely surprised by how much I genuinely did love Archer despite his glaringly unlikeable behavior at times. I was very happy with Fire’s choices regarding both men, and I did not adore Archer as I did Brigan. But I did really understand & sympathize with Fire’s love for & history with Archer. And I actually found myself stopping at times to marvel at how much Kristin’s carefully crafted story managed tug at my heartstrings when it came to Archer. I bawled my eyes out over that boy on more than one occasion during my first read of Fire.

  4. Kayla says

    I have this sitting on my shelf and I keep wondering whether to pick it up or not, I’m glad you liked it! Hopefully I’ll read it soon!

  5. rachel says

    i loved fire. a lot. more than most any book i’ve read this year. i think it’s in my top 5 of all time, although i am having a really hard time deciding why.

    i think it was the leaning horse that got me. fire seemed a lot more poetically written than fire. also, though this doesn’t really have anything to do with my love for this book, i loved the way kristin explored the implications of casual sex. it was so unexpected in a modern-day novel. i have already read it twice through this month.

  6. rachel says

    hmm… i can’t edit. i meant to say that fire seemed a lot more poetic than graceling, which i appreciate. another fantastic story, but told in an even more amazing way.

  7. ali says

    I liked fire better than graceling. The plots seemed VERY similar to me, though…SPOILER: fearsome, slightly indestructable woman with self-confindence issues attracts men who want to protect her but ultimately falls in love with an amazing man who can actually take care of her (to some extent) while allowing her to express herself as she sees fit. One part of the love suffers a devastating injury/loss. A young girl is protected. Heroine wanders through winter cold, barely surviving. etc.
    However, I enjoyed Fire a lot more than graceling. She felt more real to me (could be the “women” issues discussed, could be the greater sense of vulnerability) and more relatable.
    And, now, I go to clean up a whole container of hot cocoa that Henry dumped all over the floor. Maybe I’ll do some escapist reading with “Catching Fire” after!

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