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Review: Fire by Kristin Cashore

in a sentence or so: Fire is the last of the human monsters, which means her beauty and her mind can take over and manipulate the minds of others. after growing up in relative isolation and seclusion, Fire knows it's only a matter of time before those who have been trying to kill her, use her, control her, and love her will close in.

the novel is broken into three parts, the first of which is Monsters. we discover that Fire has the power to manipulate, both with her mind and her beauty, but that she knows (based on the awful example of her father) she will not live her life serving others by manipulating those around her. a good chunk of this first part is discovering who she is, what her purpose is, and how she fits in a world that simultaneously adores and hates her.

part two, spies, develops as a result of a life-changing decision by Fire. she begins to grow confident in herself and recognizes her independence, albeit in a non-traditional way. she begins to serve the royal family by trying to get information from spies regarding the uprising in the corners of the kingdom. during her time in the court, she becomes increasingly aware of the multi-dimensional characters that surround her...for better or for worse.

part three, dells, is a fitting conclusion. as with Graceling, Cashore doesn't insult the reader or the characters by wrapping everything up in the best possible way. there isn't 100% happiness with everyone, death does happen, people let Fire down, and there is much suffering. however, that doesn't mean that the conclusion to this war-heavy story is bleak - rather it is heartwarming, purposeful, and satisfying.

Cashore seems to have a thing for non-traditional gender roles and relationships, and i dig that. for Fire, one of her biggest frustrations is that people are always amazed at her outward beauty and aren't even aware of her inward emotions and scars. the characters in the book are often in relationships that are far from cookie-cutter; children from affair, children from rape, partner's with children, etc... and going along with the non-traditional relationships are the explorations of tough decision making that many characters have to make where there is no easy or clear answer. there are many 'right' and 'wrong' choices, and Fire continually struggles with what to do, when, how, and why.

overall, i wasn't totally head-over-heels with the war heavy aspects of this book. but what i did love was Fire as a main character, and Cashore's (seemingly) signature quirky take on relationships (including relationship to self) and purposeful resolutions.

fave quotes: "It did not surprise Fire that the man in the forest shot her. What surprised her was that he shot her by accident" (19)
"'I think', she said, 'that sometimes we don't feel the things that we are. But others can feel them...'" (434)

fix er up: with so much of this book being focused on war, i didn't feel the urgency and the reality of the impending showdown. granted, a lot of that was because it was all shrouded in mystery for so long...but i did find myself a little annoyed at the pace of plot revelations.

title: Fire
author: Kristin Cashore
genre: Adventure, Fantasy

image by Wordle:

Wordle: Fire by Kristin Cashore

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. is this a sequel to graceling or just the same author?

  2. it's a prequel, or more like a companion to Graceling. same author, same fantasy world, but only one carryover character.

  3. does graceling show up?


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