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In an effort to take a slight break from blogging for a week, I have dubbed this week as “Graceling Realm week”. Really all that means is that I’m just reviewing all the books of the Graceling Realm trilogy 🙂 If you missed it, I reviewed the first book, Graceling, on Monday.
After listening to Graceling on audio, I was delighted to see that my library also had Fire on audio. I immediately snatched it up, because even though Cashore wrapped up Graceling pretty well, I knew there was more to the story and I HAD to know how things were going to play out after Graceling ended.
Click the image for the Goodreads summary.
I didn’t realize until I picked up the audiobook that this sequel to Graceling was actually a prequel. Talk about confusing!
Truth be told, I was immediately disappointed when I figured out that Katsa and Po were not going to be in this book. I really loved them in Graceling, and had been prepared to hear more of their story when I picked up Fire. In fact, most of this story happens in a completed different part of the world than Graceling!
Still, I found the world of the Dells/Pikkia to be interesting. It floors me that Cashore decided to create not only one world, but two, within her trilogy. Yes, the worlds were similar, but they were also very different, and it had to of taken quite a bit of imagination to intertwine the two worlds.
I also loved Fire for the same reasons I loved Katsa and Po. She’s a strong woman, and yet she has so much to work through as a person. Cashore is really great with her characters.
I found the idea of “monsters” fascinating. Unlike Gracelings, monsters were beings of extraordinary colors, with the ability, or aura, to draw you in. Fire is a woman with intense red, pink, and silver hair, which always elicits interesting responses from people.
Fire is like a story within a story. At the start of the book, you learn about young Leck. Then suddenly you are thrown into Fire’s world, and you’re trying to figure out how the two stories are related.
Unfortunately, I just didn’t like Fire as much as I had Graceling. I really was disappointed when I figured out it wasn’t about Katsa and Po, and I think that stuck with me throughout listening to it. I wasn’t as drawn into the storyline as I had been during Graceling, and I got bored at certain points. There seemed to be more fluff in Fire than there had been in Graceling. Also, Cashore continued to use that whole “friends” thing to describe the relationships in the book, and it continued to chafe me.
Still, once I read the last book, Bitterblue (review coming soon), I gained more of an appreciation of this book. I realized WHY Cashore had decided to write the prequel and explain Leck’s early life, and WHY she had decided to spend so much time on Fire and the Dellians/Pikkians.
I was originally going to only give this book a 3 out of 5, but after reading Bitterblue, I’ve decided to bump it up to a 4. Is that allowed? In my world it is 🙂 So, if you read Graceling and want to know how matters came to be that way, and/or want more of Cashore’s awesome world building and character development, pick up Fire.
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