Author: Kristin Cashore
Format/Length: Paperback/352 pages
Publisher/Date Published: September 24th 2009/Gollancz
Category/Genre: Young Adult/High-Fantasy
Description: 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.
2/5 stars —
You know when you don’t like a book by an author, but you continue with her series/other books because you feel like you need to give them a proper chance? Then you continue reading that author’s writing, and you finally have to concede to the fact that maybe, their writing isn’t for you?
That is exactly what I’m like with Kristin Cashore.
She’s not a bad writer. In fact, I think she’s very good. I like the concept of her stories, yet never her execution. Her characters always leave something to be desired for me, so personally, I wouldn’t say that they’re her strength. She’s good at romance, at building it up slowly, realistically, so that is feels real in comparison to other romance plotlines I’ve read. Her worldbuilding, too, is good — you can actually picture the world she’s writing about.
Yet still, I cannot get into her stories.
I’d had my doubts about Graceling from the beginning, and although I found myself disappointed, I wasn’t all that surprised that I didn’t like it. Hype rarely lives up to the actual novel, and in the rare cases it does (eg, Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas) it truely needs to blow my mind for it to do so. From Fire, I was expecting nothing, so I wasn’t really surprised nor disappointed when I came to found that, by the end, I wanted it done.
Oh come on — I had to have at least one gif of a fire!! And seriously, how cool is that??
This novel is a prequel. As in, it’s set before the events of Graceling.
Maybe I’m a little slow… but it actually took me awhile to figure that out! However, you don’t have to read this first before Graceling; in fact, I don’t think it matters what order you read them in.
The plot… Like Graceling, dragged awfully at some points.
Like for example, around the middle. Often books sag in the centre, which does mane sense to a certain degree, but it does not make for an enjoyable read. There were times that I actually skimmed ahead to see when the next interesting event would occur. I felt like there were a lot of unnecessary things that I could have skipped — and it wouldn’t have effected my understanding of the book in the slightest. Even towards the end the really “thrilling” parts were becoming a little tiresome.
The next bone to pick with this novel: the characters.
I don’t think I liked any of them. It’s been a couple of weeks since I read the novel, and I’m finding it difficult to recall any character that I liked. I especially disliked Archer, though I’m not going to discuss that in here because it’s impossible to describe my feelings about his character without revealing spoilers. However — you can read a really brief idea of what I thought of him (WITH SPOILERS. JUST SAYIN’) here.
Honestly, I hope that my negative reviews of Graceling and Fire aren’t putting you off from reading the series.
That was not my intention at all! If you want, go read this series — you might find that you love them. They’re just not for me, and because of that, I won’t be reading Bitterblue any time soon.