Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Fire by Kristin Cashore





The Dells are full of beauty. Ordinary animals range from normal colors to vivid reds and plum purples, meadows are dotted with flowers, and you can see the mountain range of the Great Grays from King's City. But this beauty is deceiving, for the Dells are full of turmoil and war.The young and dashing King Nash clings to his throne, with the King's Army being led by the commander, Prince Brigan. This place of war and beauty is where Fire lives. Fire is the last remaining human monster in the dells. There are plenty of the vividly covered raptors, rabbits, and bear monsters alike, but she is the only human monster, a vision of beauty with fiery red hair that attracts extreme hate and adoration. Being a monster, Fire has the amazing power to control minds, able to make people and animals do as she wishes, provided their mind isn't too strong. Fire refuses to use her power against people, refuses to invade their minds, she ferociously protects the humanity in her, despite her appearance. In the midst of the war, Prince Brigan comes to bring her to King City, to use her power to uncover the plot against the king. Far from home, Fire realizes the power she holds, and the wondrous or horrific things she could do with it. With her help, the kingdom of the Dells could be saved, but only if she overcomes her fear of truly being a monster like her father was.

Oh, my. I've always hated the thought of prequels, and stubbornly wouldn't read most of them. I don't know about you, but when I read a great book, I become absurdly attached to the characters, so I usually HATE prequels because they almost always have different characters. So when I saw that there was a prequel to Graceling, I was excited by the thought of Cashore's writing, but put off reading the book because of my preconceived notions about prequels. Well, lets just say from now on, I will only be excited for prequels, granted the original book had a fantastic author like Cashore. I fell in love with the characters in Fire within a few chapters. Fire is such a strong headed female character, she can REALLY define girl power. I mean, come on, the power to control a guys mind when he gets a little too close so that he will go on his knees and apologize to you? This makes her seem harsh, but really Fire isn't, she shows amazing compassion, constantly trying to win the trust of the people in the Dells, most of whom hate her, and if they don't, they love her a little too much. Kristin Cashore's writing amazes me. She barely described the physical appearance of Prince Brigan, but because of her writing skills in the way the characters interact with him, I have a perfect picture of the dashing prince with soft gray eyes in my mind. Not only can Cashore write characters beautifully, the plot is weaved together perfectly! There are countless twists and turns that will keep you guessing what will happen next and yearning for the characters currently separated to be together again. Oh, and BOY can Cashore write a romance! The love in here is so subtle yet so evident through little acts of kindness, that it is completely intoxicating. While I love declarations of love, because who doesn't want a guy on his knees begging to be with a girl?, the developing relationships in Fire that aren't declared, but realized and accepted instead, are far better and WAY more romantic. Anyways, this has now become my favorite book, and I highly recommend it. Now when I want a book with emotions like hate, love, and hope this is my go to book. Go out and read it now! (Though note, if you haven't read Graceling I suggest you read that first, because there are some spoilers for the character Leck in here.)

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