wTf? wEdNeSdAy! Everyone needs a day to say wtf? What better day than Hump Day?
Today is a true wtf wednesday! I started Fire, by Kristin Cashore, almost a week ago. When it comes to books I love, I usually devour them, like venison stew. This time, however, everything was going against my finishing the book. Time was so not on my side. Self-discipline stood off to the side it its usual indifferent manner. Oh, and I was not feeling well.
Pushing all that aside, there was one thing that kept me going, the book itself.
Fire, ladies and gentlemen, is an absolutely amazing book. While Graceling amused me this December, like the icicle dam precariously hanging from the edge of our house, Fire, both the book and the character, are more like a technicolored rainbow icicle dam that changes shape and countenance, but never frightens you, just captivates.
Cashore expands on the world she created in Graceling, called the Seven Kingdoms, by moving us to a somewhat unrelated storyline in a neighboring land, I use neighboring loosely. Imagine lands seperated by the Rockies, the Andes, and the Alps...so basically imagine the Himalayas. In Graceling, we learn about King Leck and how things are not right with him, which leads to the end of that book. In Fire, we slowly learn the back story behind Leck, but the story is 95% about its title character.
It is hard for me to avoid roping Graceling, and inevitably Katsa, into this, and maybe inappropriate. But, compare I will.
Katsa, from Graceling, is somewhat a superhero, learning to deal with her Grace, as both a gift and a curse. She is fierce, plays hard to get, and never really learns anything new, she just comes to accept the things she has known all along.
Fire, on the other hand, has all those qualities, plus one major difference, unconditional love. If someone is good, she knows it and loves them. While, she may not know this to be true, as the reader, we see it right away. (Katsa cannot read minds, like Fire) This quality can become tedious for us to witness, especially if it is too wrapped up in other people, but Cashore lets Fire's love linger on animals and children. The love of certain animals and a certain child leads her to see what she really loves in other people. That his her true power.
While filled with war and harsh situations, Fire is a love story. It was not until I had finished the book that the thought occurred to me. Throughout the book, we see what is developing and make guesses that are likely to happen. Many of them do, especially the ones regarding Fire and her relationships. There is surprise, though. Our author does not just hand it all out like candy from a parade. She doesn't make you work for it either. She just lets it flow. Flow as though it were totally and completely real. Cashore's debut novel, Graceling, is endearing and intriguing, but Fire, her sophomore work, with its 4D characters, is a true masterpiece. I dare call it a rare young adult epic. 5/5