Book ReviewFire

Reviewer's Rating: 
Don't you hate a fence sitter, and yet, this is where this book falls, not bad but not great.
Firebird, 2010

BOOK TWO: SEVEN KINGDOMS TRILOGY.  She is the last of her kind...

It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. In King City, the young King Nash is clinging to the throne, while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. War is coming. And the mountains and forest are filled with spies and thieves. This is where Fire lives, a girl whose beauty is impossibly irresistible and who can control the minds of everyone around her.  Everyone...except Prince Brigan.

A trilogy is a trilogy, right?  Wrong.  Book one comes first, then book two and sha-bam!  Book three rounds it out to a trilogy finish, right?  Nope.  I read Graceling, the first in this trilogy and then dove into Fire.  My dive felt like a head-first run into a brick wall.  Fire is not a sequel or second book of anything - Fire is a completely new novel - with the exception of one character who falls into this world and then falls out.  Not a second book at all, Fire, is a parallel book and it took me longer than I'd like to admit to forgive it for not having Po or Katsa from Graceling.

If I can set aside my incorrect assumptions and expectations, Fire is another fair novel by Kristin Cashore.  As in Graceling, she crosses the line of physical limitations generally set by Young Adult literature and takes it into light adult fiction (...which makes me wonder why she markets to teens in the first place with the big controversy out of the way with her debut novel Graceling?).  In truth, this book is heavy on politics and fantasy and light on the romance no matter where you want to shelve it.

Is it just me or do most fantasy novels carry a certain burden with them?  I've said before that The Hobbit is not a book I'd ever read, nor the Lord of the Rings due to their pounding despondency.  I tried a series by Jennifer Fallon called, The Tide Lords and found the same thing.  Life, environment and general bad dudes rain constantly on our main character's parade.  It gets tiring just reading the set backs upon set backs and Fire reminded me of this as well. 

Beyond the plot, and the over-genre romance writing, and the fact it wasn't a sequel of any kind, Fire had it's own brand of beauty that will stay with me as a reader.  Would it be her stamina?  Her instinct for privacy when enduring great pain?  It's too early to tell for me, but I enjoyed the colourful world that Kristin created in this novel.

By itself, it's a solidly written, classic fantasy read, but I'm not a huge fantasy/sci-fi fan so I can't rate it any more honestly than a 3.

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