Feb 10, 2010

wTf? wEdNeSdAy! how did it take me so long to finish Fire?!

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


  1. I loved Fire. But, I have to say, I think I loved Graceling equally as much. Very different story styles. It shows the versatility of Cashore. I can't wait for the next one! Woo-hoo!

    I hope you're feeling better.

    SAMS questions: What grace would you have if you had a grace? What grace would you want to have?

  2. ow, epic. that's a high recommendation. I've heard great things about this book - will have to pick it up.

  3. Excellent review... I've never read anything by Cashore - I'm off to add her to my reading list!

  4. Read it. Loved it. I agree with Heather; I liked Graceling equally, though they are very different.

  5. Another set of books I need to put on my reading list!
    Love your descriptions of the characters!

  6. I just put both of these on hold at the library. They sound excellent.

  7. I think I will answer Heather's SAMS question from above, you are graced with the ability to define what you love with (may I say?) glittering exuberance. I loved reading what you see in Fire, as much as I loved reading Fire. Makes me want to read it all over again. And the fact you could appreciate it while suffering from a headache!


  8. I loved Graceling, but I haven't picked up Fire yet. Not sure why because it sounds great. Now I really want to get it after reading your review!

    By the way, I have an award for you at my blog:)

  9. My sister loved GRACELING, but it sounds like FIRE is an even bigger hit! I've decided that at least Cashore's first book is #2 on my to-read list (I have one more from the library after my current read). Thanks to you and your review, I will have to put off Percy #3 yet again! :)

  10. Sweet review! Now I can not wait for my turn at the library! Good thing I've got some other books on my table right now.

  11. It's on my to-be-read list. I'll get to it eventually. I never doubted it would be stellar. Hope you feel better!

  12. Bear with me, this'll be a long comment.

    Heather - Apparently I have this strange determination to always rank sequels higher than their predecessor. Maybe there is something about second books that I respond to that others don't generally pick up on.

    Tess - Good idea, be sure to read GRACELING first though.

    Marisa - Cashore is so like us, new to the book world and a prolific blogger, she just happens to have two, going on three, bestsellers.

    MG - See my response to Heather.

    Kelly - Thanks, I think you'll enjoy the characters in the books, then.

    Natalie - Tubular.

    Tina - :):):):):):):):):):P

    Melissa - Do it! BTW, thanks!

    Brandon - NO! Finish the PJ! GRACELING and FIRE are great...but, not in the same league as PJ.

    Elana - I know, don't you totally hate when someone races about a book and you've been on hold at the library forever and ever? Okay...I do that too.

    Laura - I am feeling better and I am glad that you have faith in Cashore, I think Bitterblue will be brilliant too.

  13. Another book to add to the sky high pile... I can't wait to read this!

  14. Ri - Judging on your review of GRACELING from the other day, you will adore FIRE.

  15. Can't wait to read Fire! It's on my list. : )

    Great review!

  16. Whoa man. I'm so outta the loop. Thank goodness I at least have these books on my to-read list. You make me want to go out and inhale them.