Series: Graceling Realm #2
Published by Dial Books on October 5th 2009
It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. The young King Nash clings to his throne while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. The mountains an forests are filled with spies and thieves and lawless men.
This is where Fire lives. With a wild, irresistible appearance and hair the color of flame, Fire is the last remaining human monster. Equally hated and adored, she has the unique ability to control minds, but she guards her power, unwilling to steal the secrets of innocent people. Especially when she has so many of her own.
Then Prince Brigan comes to bring her to King City. The royal family needs her help to uncover the plot against the king. Far away from home, Fire begins to realize there's more to her power than she ever dreamed. Her power could save the kingdom.
If only she weren't afraid of becoming the monster her father was.
Short & Sweet: Fire, the prequel to Graceling, is like night to Graceling's day. The beautiful world that Ms. Cashore created in Graceling is still there, but in a different capacity. Instead of Gracelings, the reader is introduced to monsters. And compared to the easy of understanding the Graceling concept, for some reason, the monsters just confused me. Despite this issue, I must admit that the story and characters more than made up for any missteps.
Final Verdict: Fire, like its predecessor, is a beautiful novel. And although I did not feel the overall same connection with Fire as I did with Katsa, the magic of Ms. Cashore's writing is still there. Add in marvelous secondary characters and a swoon-worthy hero / romanctic interest, and readers are bound to enjoy themselves in this second installment of the The Seven Kingdoms series.
Final Note: Now, there is some debate as to which novel should be read first: Graceling or Fire. And after reading both, in the order of release, I must admit that, in my opinion, it really does not matter. There are plenty of pros and cons of reading either first with just a small example listed:
Pros to reading Graceling first:
- Fantastic introduction into the Seven Kingdoms world.
- Readers learn the Villain's motives as Katsa does.
Pros to reading Fire first:
- Great back story on Gracelings.
- Better understanding of the Villain's motives in Graceling.
Cons to reading Graceling first:
- Timeline. Graceling is set in time after Fire. Parts of the novel feel a little off.
- You know the Villain's future while reading Fire.
Cons to reading Fire first:
- It spoils much of the mystery in Graceling.