About The Book
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…
Fire was a very enjoyable book filled with many characters who you found and became connected to on a personal level. When you read this book you are transformed to the Dells, a world that is closer to medieval times than our own, but also has flavors of the modern world. The characters that we are introduced to were neither all good nor all bad. It was easy to keep up with all the characters because everyone’s story tied in very nicely to each other and the story. There were no lose ends and the story ended nicely.
Fire was mainly an emotional journey for the heroine. Fire had to learn, accept and deal with who she was, what she was and who her family was. That was one of the underlying themes in this book. There were many themes in this book, worthy of being experienced first hand.
The story brought you in slow, but once you got there it did not let you go. When not reading this book, you would think about the characters and wish to go back to the world of the Dells. The writing was intelligent but not pretentious. It flowed well to a nice if not predictable conclusion.
The Bad (Or not so Great)
After reading Graceling, I had certain expectations of the book that did not deliver. The characters were different and so the story was different. I was expecting more action on the part of Fire, but this was more of an emotional book, an introspective book that more dealt with the relationship of the main characters. This wasn’t bad, however, I was looking for more action, fighting on the part of Fire. I was looking for the kick ass heroine of Katsa in Graceling. On it’s own, Fire is a great character you will come to love.
Fire is a must read if you enjoyed Graceling or if you enjoy a really good book. Fire is a good book all around. The themes and lessons in this book are mainstream. The author does not make anyone all good or all bad and she shows that as humans, we all have to get get our hands dirty. The point I think the author makes, is that the end justifies the means. This is a powerful statement that I think everyone should consider as they read Fire.