review: “fire” August 18, 2009Posted by Katie in reviews.
Tags: arc, fantasy
Fire by Kristin Cashore.
Dial // ARC // 480 pages.
Reviewed from an ARC, received through ALA Annual Conference 2009.
Fire is a girl named for the color of her hair, a half-monster, half-human…the last of her kind. Her world is one of unrest — she must always be vigilant of the monsters around her, and the political war stemming around her. But Fire has her own defense. She can manipulate minds. When the royalty of the kingdom finds out about her ability, she is called to work there as a spy. It is in the capitol that she meets King Nash, his brother Prince Brigan, and the young Princess Hanna. It is in the capitol that Fire’s life changes forever.
This is the second time that I’ve been so privileged as to read Kristin Cashore’s work from an ARC. Last year at ALA, I stood in a life and didn’t know where it led — it wound up leading to Kristin autographing the ARC of “Graceling.” I still think of it as my most treasured book from ALA 2008.
As much as I loved “Graceling,” I think I actually love “Fire” more. This was an intricate piece of writing, where you wanted to wait and savor the whole book. It took me a week to read, not because it was a difficult read or a choppy read, but because I knew from the first page that I didn’t want the story to end.
Fire is a mature character, one who is unsure of herself and yet has a strong compass in life. Brigan and his family are real, the family connections are believable even though they are royal. And the world is beautifully painted with a strong background and sense of the monsters and extremes that Fire meets along her journey.
I will echo what School Library Journal already has — this is a novel for older teens. Younger ones will not be as patient as the relationships in the book take their time to develop. But this is a novel that older teens will devour slowly and will only want to re-read all over again. I know I did!