Reviews of children's and young adult books old and new

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pretty Monsters

Fire: A Companion to Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Fire is the prequel to Graceling and I must admit to have been very excited to read it. Fire is a monster, literally. Only she is the last human monster alive. She is beautiful, stunningly beautiful, and has the ability to read thoughts and plant her own thoughts in people's minds. The kingdom is on the brink of war and the king wants Fire to use her power to help discover the plots against the kingdom. Fire is uncertain that she wants to use her power at all because she father, Castrel, used it to the detriment and harm of so many. Eventually Fire tentatively uses her power and while living in the palace comes across a number of prisoners who have "fog" in their minds. She learns that this blankness in their minds comes form a young boy, with two different colored eyes named Leck. Fire is kidnapped and realizes the extent and limitations of Leck's power. She is able to escape and make it back to her guard just at the war begins.

This review was a long time coming. I just finished the book last night but I was dragging my feet while reading it. Not because it wasn't interesting, because I didn't want it to end. I really enjoyed this book. It was very different from Graceling, and Leck is the only character who appears in both stories, and this is in no way his story. I liked how Fire struggled with who she was, what she could do, and what her father did with the same powers. It was refreshing to read her struggle and really think about the implications of her actions, even if they were meant for good. Adding to Fire's character development, the other characters are given some equally hard issues to deal with and struggle through which gave the book a more interesting plot. This is an entirely new world from what we are introduced to in Graceling. I am still not completely clear on how Leck even gets to this new land, but I liked that there is a lot of mystery surrounding him. I also liked how the author told the story. The reader learns things as Fire does and while we, the reader, may have a few more hints about how things are going to turn out we are able to grow with the character. There is a romance in this book, and I think it is the perfect backdrop to everything else that happens. I appreciated that the romance did not overwhelm everything else that was going one, it was one piece of the story, and it was interwoven to the rest of the narrative very well. This is a great read for young adults 12-16.

No comments:

Post a Comment