By Kristin Cashore
October 5, 2009
Dial, 480 pages
She is the last of her kind... It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. In King City, the young King Nash is clinging to the throne, while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. War is coming. And the mountains and forest are filled with spies and thieves. This is where Fire lives, a girl whose beauty is impossibly irresistible and who can control the minds of everyone around her.
Exquisitely romantic, this companion to the highly praised Graceling has an entirely new cast of characters, save for one person who plays a pivotal role in both books. You don't need to have read Graceling to love Fire. But if you haven't, you'll be dying to read it next.
— Amazon.com description
Fantasy worlds, if they're written well, can really push the limits of your imagination. I read quite a few of them in my middle school years, which means my head was always in the clouds (I blame my dad for giving me a copy of The Hobbit). I loved Fire and its companion novel, Graceling, because they took me back to that time and gave my cruddy ole grown-up imagination a much-needed kick in the pants.
These two books take place in the same world, but you don't need to read them as a series. I read Graceling sooooo long ago that I forgot almost everything, but this book has its own characters, its own kingdom and its own story to tell, so I wasn't lost a bit.
It took me longer than I anticipated to get into Fire, considering how quickly I devoured Graceling. Perhaps the larger cast of characters was to blame—it took some time to feel an emotional connection to anyone.
But as soon as Fire meets Prince Brigan and a hate-you-love-you romance picks up, I was sold. AS ALWAYS. I swear, I really can read a book that doesn't involve romance.
Also worth noting: This book was a little more, erm, adult than Graceling, but not like...inappropriately or anything. Just probably best for older teens.
Cashore writes really kick-ass heroines. These are strong, troubled, brave girls, which are harder to find in YA lit than you'd think! I can't wait for more and, luckily, I won't have to. Another "companion book" (this one picking up a few years after Graceling and involving the same characters) is in the works. Sweet!
If you like this book, you might also like: The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (Love this series!)