Book Review: Fire by Kristin Cashore

Title: Fire6250211

Author: Kristin Cashore

Format/Length: Paperback/352 pages

Publisher/Date Published: September 24th 2009/Gollancz

Category/Genre: Young Adult/High-Fantasy

Source: Library!

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.

fire animated GIF

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.

Have you read Graceling/Fire/Bitterblue? Come, tell me what you think of the series!


16 thoughts on “Book Review: Fire by Kristin Cashore

  1. I haven’t read…any of these. And I don’t know if I will anytime soon. I feel like, similarly to Throne of Glass, I wouldn’t like it that much. But who knows? It might be my favourite series ever. My reading tastes are so weird…

    And the fire gif is AWESOME. *looks for matches*

  2. I liked Graceling and Fire, but the fact I can’t really recall the plot of Fire (or who Archer is for that matter) probably means it made less of an impression. I LOVED Bitterblue. I don’t know why I liked it so much more than the other ones. It’s not perfect, but it just hit a lot of right buttons for me.

  3. I read all three, several years ago, but shortly afterwards a colleague’s girlfriend was looking for something new to read, and I was looking for some space on my shelves, and so I gave her my Graceling trilogy – and I’ve sort of regretted it, since. They are books I’d buy again if I ever got the chance, which I think says a lot about my feelings for them! I really enjoyed the series, though ‘Fire’ was my least favourite. I really enjoyed ‘Bitterblue’, and I loved ‘Graceling.’ But sometimes books just aren’t for everyone.

  4. I totally know what you mean when much raved about authors aren’t really your thing and you can’t get into their writing. This happened to me with Becca Fitzpatrick and Cassandra Clare. It sounds like it just wasn’t for you, because it was slow and stuff. At least you gave it a fair go!

  5. I actually really liked Graceling but I felt like it just got worse. When I read Bitterblue, I wanted to cry because of how slow it was LOL! I completely agree about what you said about Fire. It’s not that she writes terribly or anything like that, it just drags on so much!

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