Fire by Kristin Cashore…
I loved this book! If anyone keeps up with my reviews, you may remember that I read Graceling not too long ago and was quite disappointed to find that Fire was not a sequel but a companion. I was so irked that I put the book down and vowed to read it a little later.
When I picked it up a few days later, I was hooked right away. I felt like I was living in the Dells right along with Fire and Brigan and the others. I felt like I was fight alongside them and plotting how to fight the upcoming war. It was fantastic. I held my breath at times and my heart sped up at times. And THAT makes a great book.
Kristin Cashore says on her blog:
Fire, Graceling’s stand-alone 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.Cashore does not mention each of the characters you meet in King’s City or in Little Grays or how each of these characters’ lives cross with each other. But I find that in her sophomore effort, I can see her character development become more complex, which is more interesting to me as a reader. Cashore mentions on her blog that you do not have to read Graceling to fully grasp Fire, but my personal preference is that I wish I would have read Fire first. The one and only character that is present in both books would have been more understandable to me had I read the second book first…especially since Fire was meant to take place approximately thirty years before Graceling (according to Kristin Cashore’s FAQ on her blog).
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.
All in all, a fantastic book.