Fire by Kristin Cashore

By teen lib

April 25, 2011

Fire is the last of her kind. On the opposite side of the world that was inhabited by Katsa and Po in Graceling, they do not have gracelings. Instead in the Dells, they have monsters which are exceptionally beautiful versions of the various animals, all with the ability to take over and control your mind. And Fire is the last of the human monsters, so named by her father because of her startlingly red hair.

Raised far from the capital by her guardian, Lord Brocker, an out-of-favor military commander, Fire is perfectly happy with her quiet, backwoods life. But King Nash and his younger brother, Brigan, his military advisor, need Fire’s talents to reestablish peace and stability within a kingdom on the edge of ruin. But after so many years spent squelching her talents, will Fire to able to use her ability to read and cajole minds to aid in the royal intelligence missions, or will she buckle under the pressure?

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I really enjoyed Fire's story. It seemed like the book delved a lot deeper into who she was. Particularly, what it meant to be part-monster, but feel as humans do. I enjoyed reading Fire's memories of her father, Cansrel. He was a full monster, and had no qualms with manipulating the minds of people around him to do his bidding. Fire's memories seemed to emphasize that, while she hadn't always made the best choices, she had a conscience. She never manipulated the minds of people when it wasn't completely necessary. The romance was very subtle, and built up very nicely over the course of the story. It didn't feel rushed, or forced, and really affirmed the humanity in Fire.
France at 1:42am EST - March 10, 2012

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