Fire, Graceling's prequel-ish companion book, takes place across the mountains to the east of the seven kingdoms, in a rocky, war-torn land called the Dells.
Beautiful creatures called monsters live in the Dells. Monsters have the shape of normal animals: mountain lions, dragonflies, horses, fish. But the hair or scales or feathers of monsters are gorgeously colored-- fuchsia, turquoise, sparkly bronze, iridescent green-- and their minds have the power to control the minds of humans.
Seventeen-year-old Fire is the last remaining human-shaped monster in the Dells. Gorgeously monstrous in body and mind but with a human appreciation of right and wrong, she is hated and mistrusted by just about everyone, and this book is her story.
Wondering what makes it a companion book/prequel? Fire takes place 30-some years before Graceling and has one cross-over character with Graceling, a small boy with strange two-colored eyes who comes from no-one-knows-where, and who has a peculiar ability that Graceling readers will find familiar and disturbing...
Wow. Just. Wow. In this book, we're submerged into the world of Graceling but this time in another kingdom where things are completely different. There are monsters in this kingdom: fierce, blook-loving, beautiful monsters. Now before you start saying, "oh, vampires," it's not! These monsters are rats, birds, tigers, ect. but with colorful hair and savage personalities.
Fire is the last human monster and she wants it to stay that way. Let's start with my favorite part: The romance. I loved how the romance developed and how it didn't happen all at once. We can definitely see the character's opinions about each other change throughout the novel.
The next best part? The action. Although is not as action-packed I would say as Graceling, Cashore continues to master the ability to create easy flowing action that builds tension and keeps you on your feet.
Fire is much more emotional than Graceling. There's lots of things at stake and Fire, although a strong person, we can feel Fire's internal conflicts and her emotions. She's a very rounded character with human desires and realistic expectations. She's a great empowering character and I applaud Kristin for creating such unique characters both in Graceling and in Fire.
The male characters, Asher, Nash, and Brigan are amazing! I love how they react to Fire and how we see them develop. I don't want to spoil anything but these three play a great role in the novel and I absolutely love them. There's a part for each one where you want to have these reactions (not in order): "I want to slap you," "Omigod, how sexy!" and, "Oh. My. Gosh. I can't believe this!!" It's so amazing.
In one sentence:
"A stunning prequel to an already stunning series."
Overall Feeling: 5