Author: Kristin Cashore
Series: Graceling Realm #2
Pub. Date: 2008
Genre: Fantasy/ Adventure/ YA/ Romance
From Goodreads: Beautiful creatures called monsters live in the Dells. Monsters have the shape of normal animals: mountain lions, dragonflies, horses, fish. But the hair or scales or feathers of monsters are gorgeously colored– fuchsia, turquoise, sparkly bronze, iridescent green– and their minds have the power to control the minds of humans.
Seventeen-year-old Fire is the last remaining human-shaped monster in the Dells. Gorgeously monstrous in body and mind but with a human appreciation of right and wrong, she is hated and mistrusted by just about everyone, and this book is her story.
My Reveries and Ramblings: Fire is the last human monster-and she intends for it to stay that way. Fire’s father, also a monster, was the king’s best friend who used his power to get what he wanted. He did terrible things just because he could. Fire was the only person her father loved and who was never under the influence of his power. Over time Fire realized her father was not good. After her father’s death, she vowed never to have children-that the line of human monsters end with her.
The novel starts with Fire getting shot with an arrow. The shooter is one of the many men being found around the kingdom who have clouded minds and don’t seem to understand what they are doing. Fire is asked to help the royal family interrogate prisoners with her ability to reach into people’s minds. However this proves difficult since Fire refuses to do anything bad with her ability. On top of that, she also has to deal with Lord Brigan who seems to be set in hating her, King Nash who keeps declaring his love for her at every opportunity, Archer’s (her lover) growing jealousy, and a boy with different colored eyes who gives her the chills. The story is set during a tension filled time leading up to a huge war which takes place as the story progresses.
I LOVED this book! I read it twice and still couldn’t stop thinking about it. Fire is such a strong character and yet ironic character. Fire’s beauty drives men mad. Many try and kill her because they know they can’t have her. Others harass her and then turn to violence. She is hated by those who hated her father and even worse, is only trusted by her close friends. Throughout the course of the story she has to overcome all of these difficulties.
Lord Brigan. I couldn’t imagine a hotter knight in shining armor. He’s so strong and was forced into the army at a young age by Fire’s father in hopes that he would die. Instead, he emerged a hero. He grew up distrusting monsters and because of that distrusts and hates Fire. However over time his heart softens and he sees Fire as a human instead of a monster.
This story was just riveting. I was engrossed in the novel from the very first page. It had suspense, adventure, and romance. It was epic. I thought it was so much better than Graceling even though it is a prequel or companion novel. It takes place years before Graceling. Also, I love reading books that have a redhead protagonist because, well, I am one! Overall, I highly recommend this book. I borrowed it from the library, and will probably one day buy it so that I may reread it a million more times.
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