Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fire by Kristin Cashore

In a land called The Dells there are creatures called monsters. These monsters look exactly like normal creatures (cats, insects, birds of prey), except for their bright colors and exceptional beauty. Fire, the last human shaped monster in The Dells, also possesses the power of mind control. In a time of political upheaval, Fire must find a way to use her powers to assist her king and bring balance to the kingdom.

This book reminded me forcefully of Christopher Paolini’s Eldest, and not in a good way. First, the almost painfully slow pace made it difficult for me to keep reading until the plot actually started moving about two-thirds of the way through. If it had not been for the fact that the publisher sent me an advanced copy and I felt obliged to finish and review, I would have given up three chapters in. The other striking similarity to Eragon’s unfortunate sequel is a protagonist who possesses great power and accompanying respect, yet still fills the story with whining and self pity. I find it difficult to spend so much of my time with a character that self-centered.

At 480 pages, I feel that much of this book could have been edited out, and never missed at all. There are entire characters and back stories that do nothing whatsoever to further the plot. Without them, I might have enjoyed this book. As it stands, I just feel like I’ve wasted quite a bit of my time.

If you liked Eragon and the accompanying sequels, you might want to give this one a try. Otherwise, you’re probably better off with something like The Hunger Games, or The Knife of Never Letting Go.


  1. I'm curious if you read Graceling before Fire. If so, did you like it more/less? I adored Graceling and having just started Fire today, I'm enjoying it as well so far and don't find it slow (but I'm only at page 50 or something).

  2. gah, nevermind. Just clicked the tag and saw that you read and enjoyed Graceling. I'm guessing this one just didn't do it for ya.

  3. All Fire's life she has wanted nothing more than to not become the monster her father Cansrel was. But in the Dells, monsters are a part of everyday life: brightly colored monster raptors, monster cats, and even monster bugs attract humans with their unique scales or fur and by using their mind to force their will on others. Fire is the last living human monster, a young girl with hair like fire and a face that can make others fall at her feet in rapture or fear or simply make them want to kill her. She's lived in an isolated portion of the country next to her childhood friend Archer for her entire life, trying to use her mental capacities for good rather than evil.