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Fire (Graceling Realm Books) Hardcover – October 5, 2009


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Product Details

  • Series: Graceling Realm Books
  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Dial; English Language edition (October 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803734611
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803734616
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (526 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 9 Up—This fantasy, shot through with romance and suspense, is set in the same world as Graceling (Dial, 2008), but on the far side of the mountain barrier in the kingdom of the Dells. Here there are monsters, enhanced and exceptionally beautiful versions of various animal species. Fire is a human monster, so beautiful that she has to hide her hair for fear of attack by both raptor monsters and human men. She is able to enter other people's minds and exert power over them. It is a tumultuous time in the kingdom, as various lords are preparing to overthrow the king, and Fire is drawn into the fray. With a larger cast and a more complex canvas than Graceling, the story begins slowly and takes its time establishing itself. Fire's path is not immediately clear, and although full of action, her quest is largely internal. While the plotting is well done, there are a few quibbles about Cashore's world-building and about the role of a major character from Graceling, Leck. But, this is Fire's story, and readers will fall in love with her as she struggles with her pivotal role in the war effort as well as her complex relationships with her oldest friend and lover, Archer; with Prince Brigan, whose mind is closed to her and who becomes central to her life; and with her monster father's fearsome legacy. More adult in tone than Graceling, this marvelous prequel will appeal to older teens, who will not only devour it, but will also love talking about it.—Sue Giffard, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City
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Review

"...this marvelous prequel will appeal to older teens, who will not only devour it, but will also love talking about it." --School Library Journal, starred review

"Cashore's prose has matured, growing piercing and elegant..." --Horn Book, starred review

"Fresh, hopeful, tragic and glorious." --Kirkus, starred review

"Surpasses Cashore's debut and paves the way for further exploration of a world in which readers will happily immerse themselves." -- Horn Book

"...tension...keeps the pages turning."

More About the Author

Kristin Cashore grew up in the northeast Pennsylvania countryside as the second of four daughters. She received a bachelor's degree from Williams College and a master's from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College, and she has worked as a dog runner, a packer in a candy factory, an editorial assistant, a legal assistant, and a freelance writer. She has lived in many places (including Sydney, New York City, Boston, London, Austin, and Jacksonville, Florida), and she currently lives in the Boston area. Graceling, her first book, was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Fire is her second book.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#56 in Books > Teens
#56 in Books > Teens

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Customer Reviews

Fire, the main character, is just as well written and engaging as Graceling's Katsa.
Sara
4.5 stars I absolutely love Kristin Cashore's writing, her incredible world building and her entire fantasy element she has created.
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids Book Reviews
Although I enjoyed all of the books in the series, Fire was my favorite book of the Graceling series.
Elizabeth

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

109 of 117 people found the following review helpful By The Compulsive Reader VINE VOICE on October 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Fire is an outcast in her society, her vibrant and unnatural hair color an indicator of her monster status and her dangerous powers of mind control. She's the only one left of her kind, and she resides far out in the country where she is safe from those who fear her and would harm her.

Meanwhile, King Nash is struggling to hold on to his kingdom as enemies from the north and south threaten to overthrow him. Both Nash and his brother Brigan distrust Fire for the havoc her father wreaked on the kingdom before his death, and Brigan would like nothing more than for Fire to be killed. But now, unless they find a way to resolve their differences and work together, they'll never win the impending war.

In this prequel to Graceling, Kristin Cashore has woven an intricate and brilliant tale that reveals a whole new world beyond Katsa's seven lands, full of fantastic creatures, strange powers, and a land teeming with political tension. For the most part, the characters in Fire are made more mature than Graceling's protagonists by the complexities of their past. Fire is a strong heroine, tough and fiercely independent, but loyal and kind through and through. She is genuinely thoughtful, and her concern for others stands out, especially as she struggles to reconcile her own nature and her father's actions with who she wishes to be.

The beginning of the book is slightly slow, but in no time at all it speeds up as Fire is launched out of her comfortable world and into an unknown and dangerous one. Cashore's plot is wonderfully complex and elaborate, but tight and solid. Fire also deals with many emotions--guilt, regret, fear, love, and empathy--in a very affecting way. Cashore is a master at using all of these elements to create a suspenseful, surprising, and totally engaging read.
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75 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Erin Satie VINE VOICE on October 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Gosh, FIRE is a fantastic. Before I read it, I would have insisted that anyone who thought FIRE was better than GRACELING had to be crazy, because how do you improve on perfection? So instead I will say that FIRE is equally good, while being a very different book.

FIRE takes place in the same world as GRACELING, but there is little crossover. It's a prequel, set at least a decade before GRACELING, and only one character appears in both books. The two can be read in any order.

The story takes place in the Dells, where there are monsters but no gracelings. Monster horses, monster mice, monster leopards, monster versions of every species - including people. The monsters are identified by their vivid coloring - "A dappled grey horse in the Dells was a horse. A sunset orange horse was a monster." - and they are so beautiful that onlookers, mesmerized, simply offer themselves up as prey. Mesmerizing beauty is a dangerous enough quality in a predatory animal - in a monster person, it is inevitably wedded to powers of mind control. Two years before FIRE begins, the Dells were nearly destroyed by a monster human, Cansrel, who used his political influence to bring the country to the brink of war.

Fire, the heroine, is Cansrel's daughter. The only living monster human in the Dells, at seventeen she is burdened by a terrible fear that she is evil like her father, and profound guilt because of his misdeeds. She hides her beauty, which drives other humans insane with desire, lives in an isolated corner of the kingdom, and uses her powers of mind-control as rarely as possible. Fire's closest friend and sometime lover, Archer, thinks she is only safe when alone in a room, behind stone walls.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Paul O'Connor VINE VOICE on November 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After reading "Fire", I will never let anybody say that Kristen Cashore is not an ambitious or talented writer. Although this book is supposed to be a prequel to "Graceling," it has so little in common with "Graceling" that it really should be considered a totally different book in a totally different world.

Others have attempted to describe this story but they have failed badly. "Graceling" was about survival against all odds, this is a familiar type of story for most fantasy readers and it was easy for us to fall in love with it.

"Fire" is about wounds, both emotional and physical, and how people deal with them. This is a highly unusual and demanding story both for the writer and the reader. Cashore handles the subject with impressive grace and wit but perhaps drives the characters (and the readers) too far which explains most of the negative comments. Many reviewers, for example, comment on excessive sex in the story, excessive sex is just one of the many ways that people wound themselves and each other and so it is altogether appropriate to this story.

I was equally impressed by the size and depth of both the story and the required body of knowledge to support it.
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