Jen K’s #CBR5 Review #64: Fire by Kristin Cashore

I had been pushing off reading this book because as much as I enjoyed Graceling, the first novel in this trilogy, I had heard less than positive things about Fire. The great thing about this trilogy, however, is the fact that the novels are more companion novels than a straight up trilogy so I didn’t need to read this to see where the story went due to any unresolved questions. I was happy with where Katsa was at the end of Graceling, and this novel does nothing to mess with that. In fact, while it is the second one written and published, it actually takes place prior to Graceling, in a realm that is mentioned in passing in Graceling as mysterious and unknown. The novel provides a bit more context for a character from Graceling but it isn’t necessary – I think Cashore mostly added it for the readers to enjoy the connection between her two novels, not because she necessarily felt that this person needed more exploration.
On the one hand, I was very interested in this world, and the kingdom that is still dealing with the aftermath of a corrupt ruler. While the old king is dead, there has not been enough time to heal all wounds that he has caused, and the new king, Nash, faces threats from outside kingdoms and internal forces. Cashore also introduces “monsters,” which are basically mutations of existing species that display incredible colors, produce a pheromone (I don’t think it was quite explained that way but that’s how it makes sense to me) that make them attractive to other creatures and even have the ability to exert a certain amount of mind control on non-monsters. Some of these animals are incredibly vicious and threatening while others are kept as pets and luxury items. Fire is the last known human monster, her deceased father being the corrupting influence that caused the previous king to lead his people into a precarious position. Given her father’s actions, Fire is incredibly afraid to use her powers, even when they could be of use, and refuses to use her mind to influence others unless absolutely necessary, such as under threat of death.

One thought on “Jen K’s #CBR5 Review #64: Fire by Kristin Cashore

  1. i really enjoyed this book – and i agree that the style that this series was written was more as companion books to one another than to be held in mind as a real trilogy. They follow the same continuation of the story, but they are equally great as stand alones. i loved the idea of monsters and what they were and how that was tied into things. i’m glad that you reviewed it…i enjoyed your POV

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