Exquisitely romantic, this companion to the highly praised Graceling has an entirely new cast of characters, save for one person who plays a pivotal role in both books. You don't need to have read or heard Graceling to love Fire. But if you haven't, you'll be dying to listen to it next.
Enchanted? Also listen to Graceling.
©2009 Kristin Cashore; (P)2009 Penguin
"[T]his marvelous prequel will appeal to older teens, who will not only devour it, but will also love talking about it." (School Library Journal)
Unlike the some of the other reviewers, I actually enjoyed Fire more than Graceling. There are some big differences between these two books- they almost don't belong to the same series. However, I really liked Fire, the main character, because she wasn't as hot-tempered as Katsa. I really enjoyed the conflicts between the different parts of the Dells (the country). I found this book to be engrossing, exciting, and smoother overall than Graceling.
So I downloaded this immediately after finishing Graceling. You do not need to read Graceling first and in fact this is really a precursor to Graceling. There is only 1 character that spans both books and it is more of an informational point rather than a focal part of the book.
I think this book was more of a romance than Graceling. It definitely had more mature themes throughout the book. There is a LOT of talk about her monthly cycle in this book as it has significance on some level but I think for younger boys this might be a bit much.
Again, Cashore spends a great deal of time dealing with her characters and so you learn much about them. That being said, at some points the plot takes a back seat to the development of the characters and their complex relationships.
I liked that there was no music and there was only one reader. It was much more enjoyable.
Overall a great listen!
reads for teens
The more I listen to this the better I like it. Ms. Elbrick breathes life into Fire. I especially liked the way she was able to convey the differences in voice between the spoken word and when Fire was communicating with her mind alone. A very fine performance.
I was excited to read fire, having just finished Graceling not too long ago. I was captivated from the very beginning of this book. Following Fire throughout her journey was an endearing adventure in every sense of the word. I loved the new characters, and was interested to learn more about the ones I already knew. If you liked Graceling, you will love Fire. Kristin Cashore has done it again, yet this time it is bigger, better, and more entertaining than ever before!
I bought the hard copy of both Graceling and Fire. I then purchased the audiobook versions here. I loved both of them; but Fire was my favorite. It would be interesting if characters from both books would turn up in Kristin's new book, Bitterblue.
Read Graceling first, then Fire. I enjoyed listening to the narrator also.
This story is quite lengthy and, during the times of war in the story, drags on a bit too long for my taste. But I think that has more to do with my lack of interest in war stories than any issue with the story itself. Luckily, for me, the entire story is not about war.
I literally started Fire a day after finishing Graceling. So I can't help but to compare the two books and its characters. I feel Katsa, in Graceling, was the more interesting character, and I admired her strength and determination more than Fire. Fire, however, was more complex and more mature, and I appreciated her inner struggles (though her exhaustion tended to leave me feeling exhausted as well). The same goes for the male leads. Graceling's Po was fun and playful, and so easy to like. Fire's Brigan was much more of a mystery, darker and deeper, and complex like Fire herself. I wanted so much more for them together than the story offered, though.
I loved both books equally, but for opposite reasons. Graceling was an easier read, felt more adventuresome, and was an emotional rollercoaster. Fire, on the other hand, was long and serious, much more of a "mental" story, and was more emotionally complex and mature.
Despite other marketing suggestions, I do think Graceling should be read prior to Fire. You can get through and understand Fire without the first book (Graceling), but you'll appreciate certain details and the one cross-over character only if you've read the first book. I personally think it's important entering this story with a bit of disgust for the cross-over in order for one of the memorable moments of the story to completely and immeasurably impact you.
I definitely recommend Fire as a great read, but be prepared to have your heart ripped to shreds (not going to give any spoilers though). Also, don't expect it to be as impulsively romantic as Graceling. While still full of romance, Fire's romance is much more mature and thought through. Fire may not be a sequel, but it definitely feels as if though you've grown up a bit with the author.
Science writer in America's heartland
I haven't read "Graceling," but I was able to dive into the story with no problem. I found it to be an interesting examination of good and evil, and the idea that both exist in everybody, just in different proportions. With its gorgeous visuals, this story played out like a movie.
I have read Graceling and Fire and have come to the realization that these books are not my style, however you may like them.
This book is about the self discovery of the main character; Fire. She is the last human monster in the Dells and is asked by king Nash to use her powers to help save his kingdom.
I think that Fire is better and more complete than Graceling, however to me, Kristen Cashores books focus more on relationships than story development. Her books are like a pirate on his/her death bed who after spending a lifetime trying to find treasure with no luck realizes that the real treasures in life were the people they met and the experiences they had.
I much rather read about the adventures of the pirate than the friends of the pirate.
I still give the book four stars because the book is well written and is interesting but I have realized that her style of writing is not my forte but that doesn't mean it is bad.
I love this series of books. The fantasy world they are set in is wonderful. I've been trying to nail down exactly why I have been so enthralled by these stories and I think it's because they are realistically romantic... if that makes sense :) The characters are socially progressive in an such an easy way, it gives me a happy, hopeful feeling!
Graceling, Fire and Bitterblue are all excellent books if you enjoy books that have a twist to life as we know it. The place where all of these books takes place is a world not unlike ours in the Middle Ages, only there is something different about the inhabitants (and even some of the animals). I love the twist and how the cultures and peoples deal with it. Also very strong female characters make it a wonderful read!
Do yourself a favor and start with Graceling. They are all stand alone books but they build upon each other quite beautifully.
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