Right so… I thought maybe if I gave this a few more days, I might come to like it a bit more. Nope. #sorrynotsorry and all that jazz. Look, I know this isn’t a sequel, but that didn’t mean I didn’t want more of Katsa and Po! But did I get? No. But I did get a slow-burning romance, and that I did like… And that might be one of the only things I did.
Title: Fire (Graceling Realm #2)
Author: Kristin Cashore
Publisher: Dial Books
Release date: October 5, 2009
Length: 480 pages (hardcover)
Genre: Young adult, fantasy, romance
Synopsis: (from Goodreads) “It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. The young King Nash clings to his throne while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. The mountains and forests are filled with spies and thieves and lawless men.
This is where Fire lives. With a wild, irresistible appearance and hair the color of flame, Fire is the last remaining human monster. Equally hated and adored, she had the unique ability to control minds, but she guards her power, unwilling to steal the secrets of innocent people. Especially when she has so many of her own.
Then Prince Brigan comes to bring her to King City, The royal family needs her help to uncover the plot against the king. Far away from home, Fire begins to realize there’s more to her power than she ever dreamed. Her power could save the kingdom.
If only she weren’t afraid of becoming the monster her father was.”
Fire opens up with the story of a young boy who grew up exceedingly fast, both emotionally and mentally. As that story progresses, it’s revealed who exactly this boy is. I just wanted to squash him under my thumb! Ughhhh. But yes, he does play an important role not only in the story itself, but also, it seems, in the previous book and most likely a little in the final book. Then we meet fire, a half-human, half-monster. I felt like “monster” was such a vague term, or maybe not the right term to describe what Fire herself is.
These monster creatures are known for having bright fur, hair, or skin. They’re also overly large. Fire’s only discerning monster feature is her bright hair, with its mix of oranges, reds, and yellows. More often than not, she covers it with a head scarf to keep men, women, and other monster creatures away from her. (I almost felt she was like a siren, not that she lured others to her, but that they were attracted to her almost instantly.) It’s even worse when she’s on her period, so we heard about that a lot as well…
Fire lives not too far from Lord Brocker and his son, Archer, with whom she is also intimate with. Truthfully, I could care less about Archer. He always seems to nag her about marrying him so he could be the only one she sleeps with. Meh. I’m glad she didn’t take any of his crap, though it’s obvious here and even more so later that she does care deeply for him. I can’t begrudge her that. He and his father treat her like a normal person.
Anyway, she has to travel to King’s City to visit King Nash. There’s a bunch of politics, spies, people trying to start wars and stuff. This book has a lot of politics floating around, which I don’t really mind. Fire’s just meh as a character, and I was ready to give this book 2 stars until I heard Brigan’s story. Gees, kill my soul why don’t you, Cashore? Brigan is King Nash’s younger brother, but he and his other siblings, aren’t at each other’s throats for the crown (there’s someone else doing that). Brigan also an adorable daughter named Hanna.
Fire also has this awesome ability to sense people’s minds and other presences in the room and in the general vicinity. That’s sort of how she had to go to King’s City. To figure out if there are any spies! Oh, and she also can project her thoughts into others minds and sometimes she can hear other people’s thoughts too (not sure how this works exactly but okay).
Lots more politics, and we meet that darn boy from earlier in the story. He knows what Fire is and he wants her as her own, but dang, I gotta give credit where it’s due–Fire would not back down. She is one determined, strong character. I envy her a little, and like her all the more for it, truthfully. But I still found her boring, but because I knew Bitterblue is next, I kept listening (via audiobook). I’m just still trying to figure out how Fire and the boy fits into the bigger picture.