Sunday, 30 August 2009

FIRE


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 stand against not only his enemies, but also against herself...

After reading and really enjoying Graceling earlier this year, I was eager to check out Kristin Cashore's next book. This is actually a prequel/companion book that takes place about 30 years before the events of Graceling and is set in a distant land, away from the seven kingdoms.

Fire is the last of the human-monsters in the land of Dells. She's beautiful, alluring and has the ability to read, touch, and control other people's minds. For that reason, she's both feared and loved. She can overwhelm a man with her beauty, and attract the attention of the many different monsters with her stunning red hair.

This story is filled with political strategy in a war-torn land where Fire is wanted by many. The worldbuilding was outstanding, the plot intense, and the romance almost heart-breaking in its tender development. Kristin's writing was once again engaging, the twists and turns kept me reading, and the secrets revealed at every turn made all the events that led to the current political condition make sense. I also enjoyed reading about the strange and complicated relationship Fire had with her monster father.

Not to mention that a certain horrible character from Graceling makes an appearance, and although he's just a child in this book, he's just as horrible. The man able to convince and keep others under his control via his speech meets his match when he tries to outsmart Fire. He meets his match in her, but still manages to devastate her.

Fire, like Graceling, was an intriguing story that gives the first book a new depth as we meet a new cast of characters that'll keep you interested from start to finish.

Looking forward to the next installment, that's for sure.

Fire, October 2009, ISBN 0575085126, Gollancz Paperback

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