Fire is mesmerising.
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. If she wished, they would abuse their power, crush nations and even destroy their own kingdoms to please her.
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 from their attention, their distrust, and even their hatred.
Yet Fire is not the only danger to the 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.
Beauty is a weapon - and Fire is going to use it.
Fire, like Katsa, is a strong female character. As she did with Katsa, Cashore once again introduces reservations about marriage and reproduction with her female lead. I felt, however, that with Fire these concepts where much better handled in the way that Fire comes to these decisions and how she copes with the choices that she makes in regards. Beauty plays an interesting role in Fire, with Fire herself losing her own breath at the site of her reflection. Cashore walks a fine line here between balancing strength, beauty, and femininity. I see Fire as a character who could have easily become a Mary Sue but I feel that Cashore has avoided this and has made Fire balanced and believable.
Fans of Graceling will also recognise a certain cross-over character. I found discovering this characters background and what lead to him becoming the person that we know in Graceling to be a really fascinating aspect of the story.
I am really excited that these books are now planned as a trilogy, The Seven Kingdoms Trilogy, with the third book tentatively titled Bitterblue. Bitterblue was a character in Graceling and I am most certainly curious as to what Cashore has in plan for her.
Fire gave the "more" that I had been wanting from Graceling and I am sure that fans of Cashore's debut book will enjoy Fire just as much if not more.
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Graceling by Kristin Cashore