Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Super Summer Reads - Part 3: Fire by Kristin Cashore

Just the facts:

Overall: 5 Stars

Addiction Level: I used the lazy man’s way to fish, also known as throw a line and wait, so I could read non-stop. (The fish weren’t biting anyway.)

Believe-ability: I daydream about the created world and wonder how I fit in.

Dystopia Factor: Dystopia? This is a utopia, baby!


   As Kara posted earlier, there’s something wonderful about a book that can stand on its own, especially when that book is in a series. Luckily Kristin Cashore, author of Graceling, Fire, and Bitterblue, has conquered this feat of the literary world. Not only does she know how to write a great stand alone novel, but she connects her books as companion novels. This for us readers means a continuation of the story world we love, without the confines of a series. Yay for us! If you loved Graceling, then surely you will love Fire.

   I had been putting off reading Fire because I knew it included King Leck, one of the most skin-crawling villains ever, and his atrocities kept me from wanting to enter another story that included him. (Read the prologue of Fire and you’ll know what I mean). After starting it numerous times and then quitting I finally decided to be an adult and take the book with me on my fishing trip (I get a lot of reading done on these trips). Once I got past the prologue I couldn’t put it down. I found myself sucked in, just as Graceling had done, and I wasn’t about to let go.

   Even though I’m dying to write a ton about Fire, I’m not going to because I would be inclined to give away too many spoilers. What I will say is that depending on what side of the fence you were on with Graceling (Rebecca’s and my arguments can be found here) you’re likely to find yourself on that same side in Fire. Yes, Cashore allows her female characters to have much freedom in their sexual lives and relationship choices, but the sheer awesomeness of these characters means that I could care less. (By the way, I think Cashore is, by far, the best at writing these scenes because she writes them so tactfully). Unlike other YA heroines, her characters are strong and brave and smart. They are not little girls who don’t know how to handle themselves. Fire is gruesome and horrific at times, which regardless of my discomfort, makes the story what it is. I have long said that things shouldn’t be perfect in a book and even the most loved characters need to die. Trust me, Cashore delivers.

   Cashore fully understands what it means to write a great book. Although she’s no glamorous or media popular author, she is definitely one of my favorites. I can’t wait to read Bitterblue and look forward to whatever else she might have up her sleeve.

   A five star book from me is a sure recommendation! (I’m even re-reading Graceling and thinking about modifying that review to five stars).

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