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Fire (Seven Kingdoms, Bk 2)
Fire - Seven Kingdoms, Bk 2
Author: Kristin Cashore
She is the last of her kind ... — It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. In King City, the young King Nash is clinging to the throne, while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. War is coming. And the mountains and forest are filled with spies and thieves. This is where Fire lives, a girl whose beauty is impossibly irres...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780803734616
ISBN-10: 0803734611
Publication Date: 10/5/2009
Pages: 480
Rating:
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 101

4.4 stars, based on 101 ratings
Publisher: Dial
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback
Members Wishing: 1
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

skywriter319 avatar reviewed Fire (Seven Kingdoms, Bk 2) on + 962 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
In the country of the Dells, monsters--brilliantly colored creatures with irresistible allure--roam, seduce, and terrify. 17-year-old Fire is the last human monster, born at a time when politics are deceptive and mistrust abounds. Her incredible beauty and her ability to manipulate others' thoughts earns her admirers and enemies alike, but her life truly changes when she's drawn out of her secluded rural home and into the capitol city to help the king discover information about the lords who are plotting an uprising. It was one thing to hide in seclusion from her father's terrible legacy, but it's another to use her ability in a whole other manner...

When an author whose second novel far surpasses her already critically acclaimed debut novel, you know there's something special going on. Kristin Cashore is such an author, and FIRE is such a book. Not since Robin McKinley has an author written so convincingly of a politically charged fantasy world.

The protagonist, Fire, has the cursed gift of absolute beauty and attractiveness, and many times during the course of the book, she brings up the question, "How does gender factor into the reaction to beauty?" For Fire constantly encounters men who want to do unspeakable things to her at the very sight of her, while her equally attractive father had people falling at his feet, eager to do his bidding. Call it fantasy for sure, but FIRE contains a lot of gender politics that could make for interesting discussions, even in the classroom.

Kristin Cashore deftly unfolds Fire's past into her present story, which helps readers slowly understand and appreciate her judgments. Even so, FIRE is an intensely emotional read, especially at the end. Its ability to affect me so strongly is one of the things I like best about it, though. The romance between Fire and Brigan is less developed than the one between Katsa and Po in GRACELING, but Kristin gives depth to all the characters, not simply the protagonist and her love interest, and I'd much rather have three-dimensionality in all my characters than in just the two main ones.

It's difficult to say this for sure right now, but if you had to read only one hard fantasy YA book this year, FIRE just might be the one. It's blend of fantasy, romance, political intrigue, and feminism will appeal to all fantasy lovers, and then some.
peculiarway avatar reviewed Fire (Seven Kingdoms, Bk 2) on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I thoroughly enjoyed Kristin Cashore's first book, and quickly went out to buy this one as well. Fire is a prequel to Graceling, set in a different land and with only one common character between the two books, which started me out a bit disappointed, as I'd become so invested in the previous characters. That said, Fire is very much a stand alone book and you do not need to have read the first book to appreciate the second--though I would not recommend reading Fire before Graceling, as there is a spoiler in the prequel that gives away a big part of the mystery of Graceling.

The main character of Fire is, well, named Fire. I won't go in to a synopsis of the book, but I will say that Fire is a very intriguing character with a lot of interesting emotional baggage. The world in which she lives isn't developed nearly as elaborately as the one in which Katsa (the main character in Graceling) lived, but that's not surprising considering that Fire's world (or what of it she is exposed to) is seemingly a much smaller one than Katsa's. I wasn't immediately sucked in to Fire; it wasn't one of those books that I skipped meals to finish, dying to find out what happens. The build up was slower, but ultimately worth the wait.

Looking forward to her next book, Bitterblue, due out in May of next year!
reviewed Fire (Seven Kingdoms, Bk 2) on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Can be found in the young reader's section of a bookstore but don't let that fool you! Excellent read
GeniusJen avatar reviewed Fire (Seven Kingdoms, Bk 2) on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Reviewed by Karin Librarian for TeensReadToo.com

Fire lives in the Dells - a land filled with beautiful creatures called monsters. There are monsters of every kind.
Monster kittens, monster bugs, and the most fierce and dangerous of all, monster raptors. The monsters are covered in fur and feathers of the most vibrant and iridescent colors. Their beauty traps humans, allowing the monsters to control their minds.

Monsters can influence humans - make them stand still and allow themselves to be killed, alter their thoughts and decisions, or compel them to do something against their will. Fire is the last human monster in the Dell and people are afraid of her and tend to stay out of her way or try to kill her.

Fire is aware of the danger monsters pose to the people around her and takes care to remain respectful of their privacy and free will. The only time she attempts to claim a person's mind is in self-defense. Her life is a comfortable rhythm of hunting and spending time with her best friend, Archer.

Fire has spent seventeen years within the safety of her own grounds and surrounded by people she can trust, so when the Prince from King's City comes to ask for her help in getting information out of captured spies, she can't help but say yes. Fire has wanted to see King's City for a long time.

Fire's abilities and conscience are pushed to the limit once she joins the fight to save the crown.

FIRE is a companion novel to GRACELING. You absolutely don't need to read one before the other, because FIRE takes place approximately 30 years before GRACELING's timeline picks up.

FIRE is a beautiful story. I listened to the audiobook that Xanthe Elbrick narrates. Xanthe's voice made Fire come alive and I was almost sad when the story was over. If you like fantasy, you definitely need to read FIRE.
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reviewed Fire (Seven Kingdoms, Bk 2) on + 168 more book reviews
This is a bit of a prequel to Graceling. We learn the background of the King in Graceling (I forgot his name - the one who can make people believe anything he says). However, the book also features totally original characters with their own plot line. This book is just as good as Graceling.

Take note, this book does deal in some pretty hardcore themes in terms of women, i.e. rape, sexual assault, physical abuse, power/subservience. However, I think the author did a superb job in handling those themes. The descriptions are NOT detailed when it comes to violence - of whatever nature. Also, the way in which these themes are discussed, questioned, and finally resolved is excellent.

I think this is a truly superb fictional novel. Not only because the plot is fantastic, the characters superb, but also because these themes are so important today. So, it's not just an entertaining book for teens. It's also a book that presents vital themes which all women, directly or indirectly, face.

5 stars. I'd recommend it to any teen or adult in a heartbeat.
ophelia99 avatar reviewed Fire (Seven Kingdoms, Bk 2) on + 2527 more book reviews
I loved Graceling and was excited to read Fire. This was a good book, but it less action packed and has a less fiery heroine than Graceling. I enjoyed it but didnt like it as much as Graceling. I missed the fighting and found some of the fantastical creatures hard to picture.

Fire lives in a world that is on the opposite side of the mountains from the world in Graceling. It is a world full of brightly colored monsters and plagued by unrest. Fire is half-monster and struggles against her monster nature and the way her blood draws monsters to her. Without meaning to she is drawn deep into the politics of the realm when two royal brothers want Fire to use her mind reading capabilities to aide the kingdom.

This book is a prequel to the events in Graceling. The book is set in a sister land to Graceling and does describe some of the events of Lecks childhood.

Fire is a much much different heroine than Katsa. That's not a bad thing, but to be honest I didnt like her as much. Fire spends a good portion of the book hiding. She hides from other people, from her monster nature, and from her own beliefs. This leaves her a lot of room to grow as the book continues, and she does grow. As you can imagine this leads to a much less action packed story. This book is a lot more about politics, court intrigue, and spying.

Fires struggle is about believing that she can be a good person despite her monster nature. She also has to learn where to draw the line in using her mind control powers; at first she wont use them at all but then she begins to realize maybe they can be used for good. She also learns to start standing up for herself, where before she has let strong male figures mold her life.

This book is less romance driven than Graceling. Fire ends up longing for a certain someone, but he is out of the story a lot traveling. So while there is a bit of romance in here it is subtle, sweet, and in the background. Just like Fire comes across as much more tame than Katsa, when she falls in love she does it in a quiet way...not in the fiery way Katsa does. As such while the romance was sweet, it wasnt as engaging or as emotionally involving as it was between Katsa and Po.

There are a lot of great characters in this book; even the side characters are well filled out and interesting. I still enjoyed the characters in Graceling better, they just seems a bit more engaging.

The world is an interesting one, full of brightly colored monsters. The magic system is based more on monsters than anything else. That being said I had some trouble really picturing and imagining this world of brightly colored creatures. It seemed a bit less realized to me than the complex world we were presented with in Graceling.

The story is a complete one and fills in some of the background behind how Leck got where he was in Graceling.

Overall I enjoyed this book. I didnt like Fire as much as Katsa, she just wasnt....well fiery enough. The romance was much more understated and less engaging than in Graceling. I also had some trouble picturing this world and its brightly colored monsters. This is a book that focuses more on politics and less on the adventure/quest. All that being said this was an entertaining read with some wonderful characters and an interesting world. I recommend this to fantasy fans who enjoy intrigue and politics with a touch of romance.
nelliebly1025 avatar reviewed Fire (Seven Kingdoms, Bk 2) on + 141 more book reviews
Reviewed by Bibliophile's Bestiary Blog at bibliophile-bestiary.blogspot.com

This book was incredible, I could barely put it down. After reading and falling in love with Graceling, I knew I wanted to read more of Kristin Cashore's work. This book is set some 30 years before Graceling, and has one cross over character from that book. While you don't have to read Graceling before Fire, you probably should to not ruin a plot line in it.

Fire is a humanshaped monster. Monster's roam the country of Dell, beautiful creatures in forms of regular animals but with beautiful fur, hides, and feathers to enthrall the human mind. Being a monster, Fire has all the beauty they do, and the unique ability to enter peoples minds and control them. But she also has the ability to sense right and wrong. Her father, also a monster, was the opposite of Fire, using his abilities to cause pain and fear. Fire never wants to be like him, but when the kingdom needs her help to end a horrible war, she fears she may becoming like her father.

The world Kristin Cashore weaves is intoxicating. The characters are rich and full of life. There is romance and battles, beauty and pain, all brought together beautifully. I can't wait for her next book! 5 out of 5 stars!
reviewed Fire (Seven Kingdoms, Bk 2) on + 636 more book reviews
This sequel was more of a prequel and one that I really enjoyed. I didn't like it quite as much as , but I did really like the new characters. Really, there wasn't too much connecting this book to , so I am interested to see if the third book in the series connects them. The plot was solid, if a bit predictable, and the relationships between all the characters did border on the soap operatic, but it made for a fun and entertaining read. And I will certainly read the third book once it is released!
donkeycheese avatar reviewed Fire (Seven Kingdoms, Bk 2) on + 1255 more book reviews
Fire is the prequel to the much acclaimed Graceling released last year. Fire takes place in the Dells, over the mountains to the east of the seven kingdoms. The rebel lords are attempting to overthrow King Nash, so the dells is experiencing extreme instability.
Fire is half-human and half monster. Monsters in these lands are beautiful, very bright and colorful and usually have a gift, and they destroy humans. Since half of Fire is human, she has to hide her beautiful red hair at all times and live heavily guarded. Her gift is that she can read and control minds. Because of her gift, she is useful at court.

However, she is not well-received by the King and his brother. Fires monster father played a heavy hand in the death of the previous king and they dont trust her. Fire may be half monster, but her humanity overcomes that part of her. Shes kind and brave.

In the beginning of Fire, we meet young Leek, who is quite unstable. Hes a Graceling who has come through the mountains to the dells unexpectedly. Hes cruel and manipulative and has a gift similar to Fires; the gift of reading and controlling minds. His ambition will cause dissent with Fire and her world that will lead us to a compelling and twisting conclusion.

Fire is a great fantasy adventure! The characters are well developed and the world is built in such a fantastic way that its easy to follow and becomes believable. Magical creatures, great battles, political intrigue, a splash of romance, and supernatural abilities mesh so well together that you have a sure-fire hit! Kristin Cashore has done a remarkable job! Young adults and adults alike will enjoy this wonderful tale.
futboljunkie avatar reviewed Fire (Seven Kingdoms, Bk 2) on + 2 more book reviews
I really enjoyed this book and how the characters are starting to interweave with Graceling. You can read Fire or Graceling before Bitterblue, it's good writing with a lot of imagination.


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