Thursday, 29 March 2012

Fire By Kristin Cashore

(This is the cover of Fire that I have, I shall post the other UK cover at the end of this post)

Synopsis: Set in a world of stunningly beautiful, exceptionally dangerous monsters, Fire is one of the most dangerous monsters of all—a human one. Marked out by her vivid red hair, she’s more than attractive. Fire is mesmerising.

But with this extraordinary beauty comes influence and power. People who are susceptible to her appeal will do anything for her attention, and for her affection. They will turn away from their families, their work, and their duties for her. They will forget their responsibilities to please her... and worse, crush nations, neglect kingdoms and abuse their power.

Aware of her power, and afraid of it, Fire lives in a corner of the world away from people, and away from temptation. Until the day comes when she is needed—a day when, for her king, she has to take a stand not only against his enemies, but also against herself...

Review: For the first time I'm having a slight difficultly in writing this review. Why? Because I indeed liked this book a lot but there were some things that could have been improved. I want to review this book right and tell you about all the good things about this book but still I want to make my opinion known. And that's the problem, the things I wasn't so keen about in this book is all about my personal taste in books.  So please don't let me put you off this wonderful book.

Fire is book 2 in The Seven Kingdoms Trilogy. It's meant to be a companion/prequel to Graceling which I understand but only one character from that book was in this story which was confusing. Anyway Fire is a book that can easily stand alone. Despite being in the same world as Graceling it is set the other side of the mountains in the Dells, where things are so different to the Seven Kingdoms. Fire really does come into it's own. There are, (even if it is very few) links to Graceling but this does not overshadow Fire's story. The whole thing separates itself and is pretty much it's own world. Fire could be a standalone novel and no one would even think about the link to Graceling, It is very well done.

I feel like I'm already rambling, so onto the story. Fire, believe it or not follows a human monster called Fire whose beauty can make anyone her slave. Everyone who sees her feels the attraction and the need to do anything for her and in a world where there are struggles for power, this isn't good as she can be used as a weapon. We join Fire as she is pulled into the political world of the kingdom where she must use her power to help if her home country is going to survive.

I liked Fire's character, she was very real and someone you could relate too. Fire was a respectable Heroine who was scared of how much power she held and because of this she didn't trust herself, especially because she understood what power could do to a person. That person being her own father, who craved power and started the Dells fall into Ruin. She was scared her past would effect her future but throughout the book we saw Fire start to open up to others and see that not everyone wants her power. Archer although he was an interesting character I couldn't get past the fact that he was Fires childhood friend who she took  to bed regularly but didn't bat an eyelid when he slept with pretty much half the women in the castle.  She said she loved him but then let his actions slide. I personally found him annoying, his anger and jealousy were so childish. I loved Brigan's character and he had a hard time throughout the book too, he had many secrets revealed to him, which must have hurt him more than we are told. His daughter Hanna was such a cutey, and I loved how Fire acted like a big sister or even mother to her.

I also really enjoyed the strong theme of love in this book. It showed us that no matter where you can find love in many forms. The theme of Family was incredible strong also. With the many complicated family lines, Cashore did a good job of weaving all of the relationships together. I especially loved the Royal family and how they took Fire in as one of their own, despite her being a monster.

Now I will try and explain the things I liked and those I didn't like about this book. First I thought all of the characters were incredibly well developed, each had their own flaw and throughout the book we learnt them all, even some of those from the secondary characters. The writing also flowed so much better in this book then in Graceling. It seems Cashore's writing had developed immensely and you can see the improvements.

The things I didn't like. Ok the overly done use and talk of Fires women problems. Yes I understood why it was mentioned to start with but we didn't need to know every time it happened. It didn't add anything to the plot so why did it keep getting included. No raptor monster flew down and killed or injured Fire at the time of her monthlies so why did we need to know every time? The next point is entirely from my own tastes and opinion therefore it may not effect you at all. I didn't enjoy Fire as much as it lacked the constant action we had in Graceling. I know Fire, isn't a Graceling

Nevertheless I liked this book and it shows how a writer can grow within the space of two books. The skills for a good book were all there but were slightly bogged down with unneeded details and slow pace. I have a proof of Bitterblue which I'm going to read next and hopefully all of the skills Cashore has will be pulled together in that. But for now I shall give Fire:

4/5 Stars!!!

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