Genre: Young adult (fantasy)
Publisher, Year: Dial, 2009
Other Works: Graceling
Flags: Teen angst, tenuous references
Rating: C or Good Idea Bad Execution
Premise: A young woman with special gifts tries to use her power for good and not evil.
I really enjoyed Cashore’s first novel, Graceling. It was mesmerizing and wonderful and can’t-put-downable. However, I did not feel Fire was able to do this for me. Unfortunately, I found this novel seriously lacking. The idea was a good one, and at the beginning I was interested to see where it would go, but I soon felt so confused that all enjoyment I may have experienced vaporized.
Fire is an anomaly. She’s half human and half monster, named for her unearthly red hair. This brings a lot of problems into her life. First, monsters are extremely attractive to humans—always. Because of this immediate response from humans, Fire has the ability to control humans’ minds and make them do things she wants them too. She can also “sense” the presence of people, depending on how close they are and how well she knows them. Fire is called upon to use her abilities to help in a civil war raging in her homeland. She’s favored by the king and his family, who she believes have the right to the throne. As she struggles with the decision to use her powers to interfere in the war, she faces dangers she never imagined. +/-