Melanie's Musings
November 26, 2012

Fire by Kristin Cashore

When I read books like Fire, I wonder why I don’t read more fantasy. As it is, Graceling and Bitterblue have leapt onto my wishlist.

Yup, that’s right. I read Fire before Graceling. A long time ago, Yan from Books by Their Cover told me it would be okay. I don’t think it harmed me in any way, other than making the chapters about the graceling seem a bit curious; needless to say, I’m eager to find out more about the lore surrounding them.

From Kristin Cashore’s website: 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.

I have to admit, I get tired of novels where the main character is beautiful. Or worse yet, she’s beautiful but she just doesn’t know it. The cliche gets to me. Thankfully, Fire’s physical attraction didn’t irk me. While she is stunning, it causes her more problems than gives her benefits and her ability to control minds is far more fascinating.

As we’ve all heard, “with great power comes great responsibility.” Fire is aware of that much more so than her deceased monster father. She’s sensitive, almost shy at times. A lifetime of people wanting her for all the wrong reasons has made her wary.

To add to her appeal (for me, anyway), she has a horse. His name is Small, and I want him. He reminds me more of a dog than any horse I’ve ever met. He’s adorable. I’m always fascinated with the bond between humans and animals, or monster and animal, in this case.

What I love most about Fire is its pacing. There is no instant gratification. From its romance to the the fate of the land, Fire takes its sweet time in bringing the climactic resolutions about. When they do finally come, they blow you away.

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Posted by Melanie at 8:42 am – Comments (6)
Categories: book review

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  • November 28th 2012
    Nicole said:

    I remember reading GRACELING and really loving it; I need to get on reading the rest of her books…


  • November 29th 2012

    So glad to learn that it isn’t just me that is so tired of the ‘beautiful’ characters. Great review as always, thanks for sharing your thoughts.


  • November 29th 2012
    Heidi said:

    Of course I’m biased, but you totally SHOULD read more fantasy! I’m so so glad to hear that Fire was a win for you. I haven’t read it yet myself, I did start with Graceling, but since Fire takes place first, it makes sense to read them that way! I love her pacing and slow-burns, and I really like that she’s able to write characters that are BAMFs, but totally flawed as well. Excited to hear what you think of Graceling when you get to it!


    Melanie Reply:

    BAMFs? I’ve never seen that acronym before. What does it mean?


  • November 29th 2012
    Michelle said:

    I have Graceling and have been meaning to read it for ages. I do like series where you can jump from book to book without having to read them in order.


  • December 5th 2012

    Well that’s good to know as I have a copy of Fire but not Graceling. I get the annoyance with beautiful characters, it feels like they’re in every book these days, but I’m glad it wasn’t an issue in Fire.

    Also, you had me at horse!