Previously, I reread Graceling. These are my thoughts
I'm writing this as I JUST finished the last pages about 10 minutes ago, so please forgive me when this is all glorious afterglow and praise and no criticism.
I remember being completely captivated by Graceling. I also remember really liking Fire, but for some reason I didn't remember my love as strongly. Turns out, I wasn't as into it when I read it the first time, based on my review.
But this time? I think it's fair to say that I loved Fire even MORE than Graceling, which is kinda like saying I love sweatpants more than lounge pants. It's really close and my adoration for both is outta this WORLD.
Anyway, on to some more coherent thoughts on the reread of Fire for #cashoregoodtimes!
- Isn't it amazing how Cashore can create incredibly strong, feminist heroines that want completely different things? Katsa wanted nothing to do with having children or with being a Lady and we respect her for it. Fire fights against her desire to have children because she knows what they might become and the life they might lead, but we respect her desire to be a mother. Opposite desires, yet both women are strong and feminist and rad. Well played, Cashore.
- Clara is one of those characters I totally forgot about in Fire but found myself utterly adoring. Well, really the relationship between all those royal siblings was pretty great, but how Clara found to assert herself in a non obnoxious way among all her brothers was fantastic. Always ladylike, yet outspoken and confident.
- Fire's relationship with her horse, Small, is one of those things that seems hokey at first but by the time Brigan has him delivered to her at the camp, I wept. She loves Small in a way she hardly allows herself to feel towards anyone else, which I think a lot of people can relate to. People can hurt you, disappoint you or abandon you...but not so with animals. They are loyal and loving and exactly the kind of comfort we need from time to time.
- I actually really liked the military aspects of this book. The Dells are at war with one another and Fire is expected to help with all of that, but something about the court intrigue and the planning and the strategy really held my interest. I know I got a taste for that in A Song of Ice and Fire, so maybe that's why I liked it so much again? War just fits in with fantasy books, I suppose.
- How on earth did I forget that the silver thread from Graceling to Fire was Leck?! I'm still not sure what it meant for him to "fall through the mountains" and back again, but I'm stoked to see how that shapes up for Bitterblue!
Ultimately, rereading Fire reminded me of why I adore Kristin Cashore's writing, her world building, and her characters. There are so many different heroines to choose from to relate to, and the male characters in Fire especially are varied and will win your heart over time and time again. I've always said I'd rather take a book with amazing characters over a book with great plot and 2d characters - but when you read a book like Fire that pairs deep character development with a fascinating fantasy plot, THAT is love for this little bookworm.
Up next on March 18th, we start Bitterblue! Here's the schedule if you want to join in: