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Fire Hardcover – 24 Sep 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 133 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (24 Sept. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575085118
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575085114
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,405,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

This is a carefully constructed work, with plots and relationships that are slowly revealed and interwoven. Cashore doesn't shy away from the pain and suffering of war, but it's not tiresomely gritty by any means. Instead, fluid prose guides you through to the - slightly inevitable - end. (Rhian Drinkwater SFX)

I fell in love with Fire at first sight, dazzled by its beautiful prose, its lush world building, its subtle and complex plot lines, and its heady characters. I absolutely loved Fire, and it is one of my favorite reads of the year. Absolutely recommended to all. (THE BOOK SMUGGLERS)

This wonderful novel is difficult to put down. There's something for everyone: breathtaking descriptions, fast paced plot, believable characters, battles, romance and a main character that ties it all together beautifully. (WATERSTONES BOOKS QUARTERLY)

Fire is fresh, interesting, and fun. And the sort of book that, above all, will make its readers impatient for any stories that may follow. (BOOKGEEKS.CO.UK)

"The setting is rich and beautifully explored and described, the characters all multidimensional, interesting and believable, and the romance is exquisitely drawn out and developed. Cashore has created a world it's a real joy to exist in, populated with characters it's a pleasure to be among." (THE BOOK BAG)

"The relationships between characters are explored to a fairly satisfying degree that may well appeal to some fans of Twilight. Fire is smartly written and well imagined." (SCI FI NOW) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Sometimes beauty is the most deadly danger of all . . .

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Nick Brett TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the author's second novel, following on from the entertaining Graceling. Set in the same 'world' as Graceling but in terms of timelines it is a prequel.
Fire is a 'monster' a kind of mutant from nature. There are creature mutants, i.e birds or animals that are brightly coloured, but Fire is that rarity, a human one. As such she has bewitching beauty and the power to influence minds and her abilities are so strong that contact with people can be dangerous for them and her.
When the Kingdom rises in conflict she must come into the open and is forced to pick a side and then must decide if she can (and should) use her powers to protect those she loves.
The author does characterisation well and has an interesting view on the use of power (as shown in Graceling too) and this is a well paced and thoughtful story. It took a little while to get going and for me to get my head around the concept of 'monsters' but then it speeds up along (perhaps) a familiar path to a conclusion that is perhaps unsurprising but nonetheless satisfying. I enjoyed it as a good solid fantasy novel but I think I would have preferred it to have been longer, there were elements that felt a little rushed or not sufficiently explored (the final scene with the Graceling and the business with the weird horse) but these are minor gripes in what was an entertaining fantasy novel.

Oh and well done to whoever chose the artwork for the cover of this and Graceling - lovely covers...
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Format: Hardcover
This book is technically a prequel to Cashmore's first novel, Graceling, but it's set in a different land, with very different magic, and featuring only one character from the other book, so it is easily readable even if you haven't read Graceling (although if you're already planning to read both, don't read this one first).

I was surprised to see that the prologue to Fire is one of the creepiest I've ever read... but the creepiness didn't continue into the book proper, so don't let that put you off. The character Fire is both similar to, and different from, the main character in Graceling: like Katsa, Fire is initially strong and scared of her own power, and gradually grows to accept herself; but she's a bit less independent than Katsa, and she desperately wants children (but refuses to actually have any because she would pass on her powers to them). She doesn't have an easy life: both humans and animals are affected by her, and either hate her and try to harm her, or want her so much that they smother her. She's also affected by the memory of her father, who was a brutal man who abused his powers and caused chaos in the country - although he loved her and never mistreated her.

There's an inevitable romance that I saw coming from very early on; but it's handled excellently and the story is not focused upon the two of them. The plot is interesting and exciting, and the writing is every bit as competent as in Graceling. I found the novel so gripping that I don't think I put it down for more than a few minutes at a time until it was finished.
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Format: Paperback
I don't think words can describe how much I loved this book. I was under the impression from other reviews that Fire wasn't supposed to be as good as Graceling but in my opinion it's better - much better! The romance, the action, the mystery and the heartbreak were so much more prominent.

Fire is set I think around 20 years before Graceling in a land called The Dells which is supposed to be beyond the Seven Kingdoms. They don't know of the Seven Kingdoms and the Seven Kingdoms don't know of them. They don't have Gracelings in The Dells but they do have monsters! Monsters come in the form of brightly coloured animals. The same as normal animals but brightly coloured. And there is also a monster human. The last living monster human - Fire. Monsters have the ability to see into others minds and are able to control them in some cases. Human monsters have always been feared by people because of this ability and also because of their unusual beauty and brightly coloured hair.

Fire's father sent her away as a girl to live away from the King's city where there were too many people who would want to hurt her and so she grew up on a farm on the outskirts of the kingdom. However, when war is threatening the King he decides he needs her power to use to find out useful information for the coming war and so she is summoned back to the King's city where it is so dangerous for her. There she meets the King, the King's brothers and sister and a whole host of other amazing characters, some whom love her and some very much intent on seeing her dead.

This book was filled with so much adventure and surprises. I loved every minute of it. I think the reason I loved it more than Graceling was becuase it was set around a much older theme.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book wasn't what I expected. Having read the Graceling, previous to this second novel, and read the reviews in advance of reading this book, I had built up a picture of what to expect.

This was a very different story from that of the previous novel in this trilogy.
That isn't a criticism, however I did find it took me longer to get into this novel than the first one. I struggled with the use of the word 'monsters' and never felt comfortable with it, as it always seemed to polar to the concept of Fire being such a irresistible force of beauty.

I kept expecting the heroine to jump into action and be more like Katsa from the Graceling, but she wasn't as physical a character as she was more cerebal, which ultimately made her interesting and more difficult to second guess.
I saw her impending romance coming, but I actually liked the hero more than I liked Po, and found him more interesting. I really enjoyed the interplay between him and the heroine and felt as disappointed as Fire to see him disappear off again and again.
I also got a bit lost in the descriptions towards the end of who was fighting who, where, and didn't really care.
However, I really enjoyed getting to know the central characters and found myself intrigued by a lot of their responses to Fire and would have liked to have read more scenes involving the Dell siblings.
I have to agree with previous reviews, while I understood the need for mentioning Fire's bleedings initially, it did start to grate after the second time it was brought to the attention of the reader.

All over a surprising book and very enjoyable one, and at times very moving. I really felt for Fire's loss at the end. I thought the author handled the depth of feeling very well indeed, and really conveyed a very strong sense of bereavement.
A stand alone novel, but also a good companion to the first of the seven kingdoms trilogy. I will definitely be reading Bitterblue.
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