Kristin Cashore grew up in northeast Pennsylvania and has a master's degree from the Her epic fantasy novels set in the Graceling Realm—Graceling, Fire. Graceling Realm series by Kristin Cashore 1 - Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1) 2 - Fire (Graceling Realm, #2) 3 - Bitterblue (Graceling Realm. 2 KRISTIN CASHORE GRACELING Orlando HARCOURT, INC. Austin New York San Diego London 3 For my mother, Nedda Prev.
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Like this: The way it's explained in the book is that if you were in the Graceling kingdoms, and fell off a cliff, then you would land yourself in the Dells kingdom.
The two realms don't even know the other exist. So that's why it was confusing when I said it was in the same world, yet it's wasn't.
But the dells have no gracelings with two different eyes and special powers. But they do have colorful monsters, including the last remaining human-monster Fire. The monsters range from humans monsters, to huge hungry monsters, to little monster bugs.
They have mind powers too. I thought that was a different and interesting concept.
Plus you add in civil war and tons of political intrigue, with a slow burning romance that's sweet and gentle, with a underlying plot that could tips that tides of war, and your have a pretty amazing book! One issue I had trouble with was the slow pacing and lack of a smooth flowing plot.
The book was fabulous, but the pace of the novel was sometime distressing and hard-enduring.
Their wasn't enough action for my taste, and the plot dragged with the slow pace and lack of action. Their was some adventure, but not much of that either, which was another let down.
I guess you could say my love for FIRE mainly came from the political intrigue, war thriving, paranormal, and mind-controlling aspects of the novel. Which was enough to win me over, but not entirely! In a remote part of the forest, Fire lives secluded from the rest of the world. She hopes by shielding everyone from her vicious power, that she will be keeping them safe from her mind-control that tends to invade and conquer minds. The same wicked power that her evil father wielded and ruined many innocent lives in the process.
But Fire refuses to succumb to her fathers evil ways, and is determined not to become the monster he was. But when civil war threatens the royal family, and all she holds dear, Fire must make a decision that will change not only the kingdom, but herself, and all the promises she's kept threaten to become unraveled Seeking answers to recent attacks on their home, Fire and her best friend and "sometime lover" Lord Archer travel to King City, and find that the kingdom is in more turmoil then they once thought.
With little hope of winning this war, the royal family seeks Fire's help with besting their two rival enemies before all is lost. But if Fire is to help win this war, she must first sacrifice her morals and become the true monster she's always been terrified of becoming FIRE had some flaws but not enough to defer my love for these characters and book. I'm saddened that these characters are done playing they're part in this series, and we won't see them anymore. But hey, it was fun while it lasted.
If it's anything like book one or two, then I know it's going to be pretty epic too! Overall, I had my ups and downs with FIRE, but ultimately enjoyed most of it, and thought it tied nicely into this series with one of the same delicious villains from book one. Even with it's flaws, I was able to push past them and enjoy this book and all the fun political intrigue and devious plotting. So if you enjoy a good fantasy novel with a paranormal twist, and a slow burning romance, then definitely give this series a shot!
Fire is one of my favorite books and I regularly reread it a few times per year.
Special powers and fantasy setting aside, Fire is a character I understand to my core and faces many human struggles despite being a "monster. Even though she faces some of the worst things imaginable, the way she handles that pain is something that reassures me and makes me feel like anything can be overcome.
Those who read Graceling may or may not like this installment since it is more of a companion book than a prequel - there is not much in common between the two aside from a single character. People talk about books changing their lives. Fire is that book for me.
I'd never read a character who felt so much of what I felt special powers aside and wanted from the world what I wanted. Her fears, strengths, and fragility feel incredibly realistic. The setting is fantastical, but that only highlights the genuine feelings, fears, and struggles of Fire's life. This is my comfort book. I reread sections of it every few months, and probably have completely reread the book half a dozen times.
I have it as an eBook and an audiobook, but my paperback copy is still one of the very, very few that I won't loan out. When I want someone else to experience it, I download a brand new copy and give it to them. My copy stays near me. One person found this helpful. An enjoyable adventure, with believable and sympathetic characters. It mixes sword and sorcery with romance but never gets mawkish.
Our heroine has empathetic powers and she must use them in a nasty war between her country and a neighboring, power-hungry duke. There's palace intrigue, too, and she must help the not-very-decisive new king cope with ruling a kingdom in crisis.
Oh, and she's in love with the king's younger brother, just to complicate things further. She manages, though, and very well at that. Altogether satisfying. Having enjoyed Graceling, I was a bit disappointed that the next installment in the series wouldn't be a continuation of Katsa's story, but then again, it's refreshing to see an author approach a series from outside the typical straight trilogy model, and Cashore deserves some credit for seeking to expand the mythos of her world rather than just giving us more of the same.
So, Fire brings us to a realm neighboring the Seven Kingdoms Katsa traveled. All of the elements of good fantasy are here: It's satisfying reading, although lacking in tension at times, not quite as well-paced as I remember Graceling being.
Also, for all that we're in a new area with a new heroine whose powers are markedly different from Katsa's, there's a something familiar about Fire. The way she thinks and grapples with how best to use her power is only different from how Katsa grapples with her grace because of the nature of the ability involved, but the underlying issues about the use of power are basically identical.
Similarly, Fire's feelings about relationships and childbirth are spot on with Katsa's. It's almost like the same character all over again. All in all, it made for good reading, and anyone who enjoyed Graceling will likely enjoy Fire. As others have noted, you don't have to read Graceling first, but I would recommend doing so; Graceling is just a better place to begin the series, even though Fire is chronologically first in the mythos.
As a monster, she holds the power to control minds, but fears becoming the tyrant her dead father was, and so she is unwilling to invade the minds of innocent people. She is known for her love of her horse, Small, and for children.
She desperately desires children of her own, however, she realizes that human monsters should not exist, and so refrains from having any, eventually taking a herb to make herself infertile so she'll never be tempted. She has green eyes and dark skin. Prince Brigan: Brother of Nash and commander of the King's army.
He is the son of Lord Brocker and Queen Roen. As a child, he was very mischievous and laid traps for his brother Nash. Soldiers would fall head over hilt to die for him because of his love and care his shows them. When they first meet, Brigan hates Fire, but gradually falls in love with her.
He has grayish eyes, and a daughter named Hanna, whom he loves dearly. Archer: Fire's childhood friend, lover, and devoted companion. His mother, Brocker's wife Aliss, was raped, leading to his conception.
Despite this, Brocker regards him as his own son. It's later revealed that this was on King Nax's orders, as punishment for Brocker, who's had an affair with Queen Roen.
Archer is known for his incredible skill with all types of bows. He loves Fire, but unintentionally pushes her away with the level jealousy and possiveness he displays around her, as well as his carelessness, particularly how many women he leads on and abandons. Two such women are Clara and Mila, with whom he fathers children and then leaves.
After leaving the capital in search of the archer who keeps targeting Fire, he finds the man, Jod, who is actually his real father, and is killed by him. He is described as tall, fair-haired, and incredibly handsome. Brocker: Former army commander in the service of King Nax until it was revealed that he was having an affair with Queen Roen, Brigan being the result.
Nax then had Brocker's legs shattered by multiple blows with a mallet and sent the archer Jod to rape his wife. He acts as Fire's guardian and foster father for most of her life. He is portrayed as wise, compassionate, and sensible. Fire has a strong sense of love and care for him. Cansrel: Fire's father, a human monster.
He was an advisor to King Nax and is most remembered for his cruelty and insanity, partly caused by unspecified drug abuse. He kept monster predators as pets, starving and tormenting them. Eventually Fire realized he was too dangerous to be allowed to continue living, and so slowly began to control his mind, until she had enough power to will him to walk into the cage of a monster leopard.
He had dark blue eyes and silver hair with blue highlights. Nash King of the Dells, and son of Roen and Nax. At first, like most men, he has difficulty resisting Fire's beauty but eventually he manages to control himself.
Although he does not always use common sense, he is a fair and good king. He is described as dark-haired and good-looking.
Hanna: She is Brigan's six-year-old daughter, born out of a rushed union between Brigan and Rose, a stable worker. She is a tomboy who often tries to avoid her lessons. Clara: Nax's daughter and Garan's twin, vivacious and full of life. She has an affair which Archer, which results in a child, but ends the relationship out of regard for Fire. Garan: Nax's son and Clara's twin. When he was younger he had suffered a fever but had come out alive but with "ruined health. It is mentioned that Nax had the potential to be a good king, but allowed Cansrel to control his mind and actions.
Roen is seen by Fire as intelligent, strong, and caring.