Review – Fire by Kristin Cashore

Title Fire
Author Kristin Cashore
Release Date September 24, 2009
Date Finished January 15, 2021


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. Exquisitely romantic, this companion to the highly praised Graceling has an entirely new cast of characters, save for one person who plays a pivotal role in both books.

Initial Thoughts

I hadn’t read Fire when I read Graceling back in the day. It wasn’t a direct sequel and young Monica didn’t have time for spin offs 😂. Anyway, I was glad to finally have a chance to explore more of the amazing world Kristin Cashore created.

Some Things I Liked

  • Fire, the character. Fire was fierce and independent and I really loved that about her.
  • Leck’s backstory. I love a good villain backstory and Leck is a villain among villains. Despite my criticism that some of the themes are more mature than YA, I actually really liked that in the villain development. If Leck wasn’t a complete monster, the reader wouldn’t be able to hate him.

One Thing I Wasn’t Crazy About

  • Adult themes. There were some themes that I didn’t think belonged in a YA novel here. For example, the fact that Archer fathered multiple children at the same time – to me, that didn’t feel YA, it felt NA or even adult.

Series Value

This was a spin-off book. Honestly, on it’s own, it didn’t really make me any more interested in reading Bitterblue than I already was. I love this world and this series, but Fire didn’t drive the interest there.

I will say that I like it when authors enrich existing worlds with spin-off or side stories.

Final Thoughts

I liked this book. I loved Graceling but by comparison, I just liked Fire. It was good but I felt like I didn’t connect with the characters the same way. However, I did love the way Kristin Cashore expanded on the world she created in Graceling.


Recommendations for Further Reading

  • Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore – If you’re like me and were itching to get back to the main storyline with Katsa and Po, definitely check out Bitterblue.
  • Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes – if you enjoyed the idea of a darker / more NA fantasy world, try this series by Morgan Rhodes.

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