Fire by Kirsten Cashore
Series: Graceling Realm #2
Genre:Young Adult, Fantasy
Length: 12 hours and 40 minutes
Narrator: Xanthe Elbrick
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It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. The young King Nash clings to his throne while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. The mountains and forests are filled with spies and thieves and lawless men.
This is where Fire lives. With a wild, irresistible appearance and hair the color of flame, Fire is the last remaining human monster. Equally hated and adored, she had the unique ability to control minds, but she guards her power, unwilling to steal the secrets of innocent people. Especially when she has so many of her own.
Then Prince Brigan comes to bring her to King City, The royal family needs her help to uncover the plot against the king. Far away from home, Fire begins to realize there's more to her power than she ever dreamed. Her power could save the kingdom.
If only she weren't afraid of becoming the monster her father was.
On the story...
Ahhh, I considered skipping Fire because of the reviews but I'm actually glad I didn't. Readers seem to either love this book or hate it and I can see why in both instances. Fire introduces us to another heroine with major abilities far above the men. Unfortunately, Lady Katsa (from Graceling) is so kick*ss that Fire just falls flat in comparison. She's a bit whiny. And for all her amazing power, the sky was the limit, but it wasn't used in a particularly awesome way. Also all the annoying things in Graceling are present in Fire but the second time around it is quite a bit more annoying. For example, the women seem to defy every stereotype while the men seem to embody EVERY stereotype. Then there is the whole monster thing. I don't think the creatures were adequately explained. There was much talk of them and the danger but I wasn't able to adequately wrap my head around the concept. This might have also contributed to my dissatisfaction with Fire's abilities. BUT. There was Prince Brigan who I absolutely adored. For some reason I love the men in this series much more than the women. I loved that he was so smart and commanded his army so completely. He was fair but realistic. Every thing that came out of his mouth I loved. I also loved that he wasn't the king. AND he had the most adorable daughter in the world. It seems like I love the most insignificant things but really his character came together perfectly and simply.
On the audio...
I thought the narration was done well though it didn't stand out that much. I still liked it better than the full cast audio of Graceling.
Overall... It's a must read because it is book two in the series. It's not as bad and I expected based on the reviews and it would seem a lot better if Graceling wasn't so awesome.
P.S. This book satisfies my 2013 Sequel Challenge.