First Published: 2008
Young Adult, High Fantasy
HER BEAUTY IS A WEAPON - AND FIRE IS GOING TO USE IT.Confession: originally, I read Fire the last of the three books, despite it being the second published. I was just so invested in Katsa and Po that I was more interested in their future rather than a past they weren't alive in yet.
Fire's exceptional beauty gives her influence and power. People who are susceptible to it will do anything for her attention, and for her affection.
But beauty is only skin deep, and beneath it Fire has a human appreciation of right and wrong. Aware of her ability to influence others, and afraid of it, she lives in a corner of the world away from people - not only to protect them but also to protect herself herself from their attention, their distrust, and even their hatred.
Yet Fire is not the only danger to Dells. If she wants to protect her home, if she wants a chance to undo the wrongs of the past, she must face her fears, her abilities and a royal court full of powerful people with reason to distrust her.
When I finally read it, I closed the book wanting to hit myself for waiting so long.
Fire starts by giving us a very disturbing look into Leck's childhood, who we find out has been evil since the very beginning. When you want to cover yourself in something warm and safe from a toddler, it says something.
Moving from that fun little experience we're introduced to the monster Fire, a human beautiful beyond description who can invade and control minds. People either hate her or admire her to destruction, and with an infamous monster father created from the same mold as Leck, the hatred is palpable.
The thing Fire is most afraid of in the entire world is herself. She is scared to death she'll become something like her father because of her powers and abilities. But she's a dutiful, driven, loving person, who will do anything for those she loves. And so, when she's asked to do something for the king- she accepts.
That's where the real story starts. Before that, we get to know Fire, her routine, the dynamics she shares with those around her and her past, through beautifully done flashbacks that are never boring or meaningless.
If this book excels in anything (and it excels in many things), it's in making you know Fire inside and out, on all her layers. It's in making you live inside Fire to to point of tearing up at the things she feels - without the need for anything truly "tragic" to happen.
Fire is as strong a heroine as Katsa, while being vastly different from her.
And Brigan is as amazing a male character as Po was, for different reasons. I feel like I want to let you guys discover him all on your own.
Now, if that's not enough to make you want to read this book, what if I told you that the romance is of the slow-burn variety? What if I told you it's sort of a hate to love situation? What if I told you that two people who are uncomfortable with each other on sight learn to trust one another, become friends and eventually develop something more in the most real and believable way that will give you ALL the feels???
And what if I topped that by saying the romance is not the main focus of the story, but a delicious bonus? That the real story is one of self acceptance, forgiveness and repenting? That it's real and raw and human? That consequences exist in this world, for better or worse, and happy endings are not in the cards for everyone? That it's heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time, and that the combination is beautiful?
I really can sing praise of Fire and Cashore's magic with words for days, you know. She is one of the most amazing authors out there to me. Once you get a taste of her writing, you really can't stop.
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