01 December 2009

Fire (Graceling)






I'd finished Graceling the same day that I had started Fire. So I jumped right into this. And yes, we meet a young Graceling, first thing. However, this book isn't really about Gracelings. The review blurbs peg it as a prequel to Graceling. Time wise this may be true. It would almost be more true to say that while written first, Graceling is a spin-off of this story.

In this story, the Graceling is almost irrelevant. At the times he makes his appearances, he seems pivotal to the story, but truth be told, this story could be told without him. It's more a story of a land of monsters. A land where a Graceling fell through a mountain and made cameo appearances.

Fire is the main focus in this story. She's half human, half monster -- literally, her father was a monster. Being what she is, causes her to be so beautiful that everyone is drawn to her. Monsters want to eat her. Humans just want her. Her flame red hair is something she hides, as it amplifies this effect. She attempts to cover her body. But nothing she does can truly hide who she is, they all know. She's essentially alone, despite everyone knowing her, as she's the last human-monster being in existence. Her parents dead. All she has is her best friend Archer and his father, who helped to raise her. And her music.

And then one day, she's called away to help the Dells, the land of her mother, the land which her father nearly destroyed. Fire, she has the power to get into people's minds. The royal family in the Dells fear a war is brewing and they need Fire to get into the minds of prisoners, for they want to try to get insider information.

Fire has trouble with this, not wanting to become a controlling, manipulative monster as her father had been. But could she do this? Make up for what he once did to them? Show their prince (whom she's started to fall for) that she's not her father? Help him save his land? Save her new friends? Or does she just let the war happen naturally? She'll have to decide, before it's too late.


Fire was a good novel, but because I had Graceling so fresh in my mind, I can't help but compare the two. For me Graceling was 5/5. I think I'd recommend reading Fire first. It technically being a prequel. It's the weaker story. 4/5. It's good, just not as good as Graceling.

4/5 stars

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