Monday, November 9, 2009

Fire-Kristin Cashore

So I have been waiting to read this book since December of 2009, which is when I read Cashore's first book, Graceling. I literally read this book cover to cover. Full disclosure: I was home sick this weekend with a headcold, so I also read three other books cover to cover, but this one was worth the time investment!

Fire is a monster, a beautiful and compelling monster. In Fire's world both animal and human monsters exist, and both species are extraordinarily colorful (think bright blue tigers), heartbreakingly gorgeous, and posses a compulsion that makes everyone instantly desire them. Fire got her name because her hair looks like dancing flames. The novel is told from her perspective. And, just like in Graceling, the female protagonist is strong and powerful. But, unlike Katsa (from Graceling) who is a physically strong and valiant fighter, Fire possesses an intense mental fortitude and prowess.

This book contains all the elements of a really great fantasy novel: unusual land and creatures that aren't toooo strange, strong heroes and heroines, espionage, royalty, warfare, and love. But what sets it apart is Cashore's ability to write a character who is so heartwrenching, you feel like you know her personally.

Fire is a companion novel to Graceling, and it can fully exist on it's own. But do yourself a favor: read them both. Both books will appeal to fans of Tamora Pierce's Alanna books, Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games series, or fans of fantasy fiction in general.

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