Fire for me overcame the awkward language barrier and became one of my favorite reads of 2009. Fire is a prequel to Graceling, and we learn much more about the graced king. Fire is set in another country separate from the realms the graced live in. Monsters live here, with their beautiful vivid colors. Fire is the last human monster, monster animals are always trying to eat her as she eats monster meat. She is feared by all and loved by many. Fire’s ability to charm men is something she tries to learn to live with and keep under wraps, by covering her gorgeous fire red hair. Her father a monster was in personality a monster also, ruining the kingdom by influencing the king to do horrible things to his subjects. I really loved Fire’s story and would have loved to read more. I hope Cashore returns at some point to Fire’s story and continues with the struggles in the land.
Graceling was a book that had been showing up a lot on Twitter and in my recommendations on Amazon. I hadn’t really wanted to read it and I think it was the cover art that was holding me back. At some point there were so many great things said about the book that I did pick it up, and read it in a couple of days. For me the story line and plot were refreshing.
Graceling follows Katsa through a coming of age story. She find out at an early age she is graced. Gracelings are born with different color eyes, the king takes in all gracelings and when their grace is revealed usually around 9 or 10 the king then decides if the grace is beneficial to him. If not the child is sent home and lives a horrible life. People naturally fear the graced. Katsa is graced with fighting and killing she is unstoppable. Until she meets Po who is a prince of a strange kingdom, his grace is also fighting and while Katsa wins the battles she has to work hard to overcome. Po’s sister and niece Bitterblue live yet again in another kingdom with the kindest king in the realm but when things start going wrong, Po and Katsa set out to learn the truth. Maybe there is a grace out there that can overcome Katsa.
I gave this book three instead of four stars due to the fact that the language at times fit the setting. Other times it was way too modern and broke me from the story and it took a few pages to get back in. Other than that a delightful read.