Review: Fire (Graceling Realm #2) by Kristin Cashore

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Dial (October 5, 2009)
How I got this book: Bought
Links: Amazon Goodreads

Blurb from Goodreads:

It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. The young King Nash clings to his throne while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. The mountains and forests are filled with spies and thieves and lawless men.

This is where Fire lives. With a wild, irresistible appearance and hair the color of flame, Fire is the last remaining human monster. Equally hated and adored, she had the unique ability to control minds, but she guards her power, unwilling to steal the secrets of innocent people. Especially when she has so many of her own.

Then Prince Brigan comes to bring her to King City, The royal family needs her help to uncover the plot against the king. Far away from home, Fire begins to realize there’s more to her power than she ever dreamed. Her power could save the kingdom.

If only she weren’t afraid of becoming the monster her father was.

My rating: 4.5/5 Stars – Almost perfect. I highly recommend it.


In this companion to Graceling, we are introduced to an entirely new world and a new cast of characters; thus, Fire can easily be read as a standalone.  Still, I could not help comparing this novel to its predecessor, and, although it’s very different, Fire is every bit as beautiful as Graceling.

At first, the story is a bit heavy on the information dumps, and I noticed several typos that I’m surprised no one caught.  But before long, the plot revs up, the unique magical setting becomes enthralling, and the characters work their way into your heart.  After the first couple of chapters, I could barely put this book down.

The protagonist Fire is a very different heroine than Katsa.  She’s hard to sympathize with at times because it’s difficult to relate to the problems she faces, especially the curse of being so beautiful that she drives people crazy.  But Cashore still manages to make Fire a heroine I can root for, and I ended up loving her just as much as I loved Katsa.  All of the characters, in fact, are incredibly endearing, and the painful struggles they experience make the story extremely emotional.  Although it ends on an uplifting note, I pretty much cried throughout the second half of the book.

Overall, Fire is an excellent companion to Graceling that fans of romantic young adult fantasy will surely love.


Reading Order:

  1. Graceling – read my 4.5 star review on Goodreads
  2. Fire (companion to Graceling)
  3. Bitterblue (sequel to Graceling)

Also reviewed at:


About Lesley

I love big dogs, ravioli, and all things nerdy. Books are my crack.
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