A Book Review: Fire, by Kristin Cashore

Fire, by Kristin Cashore

3.5 Stars


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.


Published in: October 2009

Pages: 461

Publishing Company: Dial Books



This book started out very strong. When I read the first chapter, I was immediately entranced by the mystique that surrounded the main character of this book who is called Fire. Soon, Kristin Cashore raises the concept of “human monsters” to us. At first, I was extremely confused, because I didn’t remember reading about “human monsters” inGraceling. Then again, it was ages since I finished Graceling, so my memory about the first book was a bit hazy.

I do recall, however, that it was the gracelings’ eye colours that distinguished them from other people. In Fire, it was Fire’s red hair that showed that she was a monster. It was only later in the book, when Cashore introduces a certain graceling, that I realised that a graceling and a “human monster” were slightly different.

Then, I discovered that Fire was not actually the sequel toGraceling, which is why the concept of “gracelings” was not really… incorporated into the novel. Fire is actually a companion novel.

I digress… oops! But back to the actual review…

Cashore had strong descriptions of various locations that the main character travels to. The descriptions were lengthy enough to provide a good picture, but they were short enough to not become boring. This was something I quite liked about this book. Also, Cashore contrasts the different locations, which made the entire country all the more interesting. Firecertainly did very well in establishing the physical/geographical features of the setting, but Cashore did not really elaborate upon the culture of the setting. To me, this was a little disappointing.

Fire had a really strong set of characters. I could tell that a lot of thought was put into each character. A lot of the characters were not clichéd, and all of the major characters had an intriguing back story which definitely enhanced their personalities and by extension, their overall character. The complicated family ties also made the entire cast of characters a lot more interesting.

Unfortunately, Asher was one of the characters that I did not like so much. I do not dislike him because of his personality, but I dislike the way he was portrayed. From the moment I met him, I knew he was going to be that character, the one who was going to have a bad ending, the one who can be/ will be easily discarded. Personally, I wish Cashore was a bit more subtle(?) with the portrayal of Asher.

The romance between Fire and her final love interest was pretty realistic but obvious. Nevertheless, the romance in this book is still better than the insta-love that I encounter so often. Also, the relationship between the two characters was quite cute!

In this book, there was some political scheming involved. Normally, I would have loved the incorporation of political schemes, but the scheme in this book was a let-down. To me, it just wasn’t that exciting.

Fire was an average read, but if you liked Graceling and Bitterblue a lot, I do recommend this to you.

I may or may not decide to read Bitterblue.


Find it on…

Amazon / Goodreads / B & N



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