Author: Kristin Cashore (Blog, Twitter)
Series: Graceling Realms #2
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, YA
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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.