Graceling but on the other side of a treacherous mountain range, Fire is a novel of love, power, and war. The Dells is a land of monsters, where colorful fur or hair identifies monsters from ordinary animals or humans. Monsters are beautiful creatures and have the powers of persuasion. Human monsters are even more powerful, as they can find their way into the minds of other humans and coax, twist, and even force thoughts into their heads.
Fire is a monster woman, presumably the last of her kind, with beautiful hair the color of a firey sunset. Her beauty is overpowering and her mind is able to take advantage of others, which is exactly what her father Cansrel wants her to do. But Fire is not like her monster father. Her heart holds deep convictions, and she refuses to hurt others with her power.
As the political climate begins to become more and more desperate, King Nash and his brother Brigan ask Fire to help them interview captured spies to seek out those who are attempting to overthrow the king. As war begins, Fire finds herself battling her convictions and her heartfelt feelings for one of the royal family.
I really loved Cashore's first novel Graceling, but it was Fire that really cemented my love for this author. Her writing style is very mature-sounding and unlike most young adult authors, which is what I really loved about these books. Cashore isn't afraid to tell her story, so there is violence and some characters are in sexual relationships (these are presented non-graphically). However, these elements further the story and add to the richness of the characters. I recommend Fire to fantasy lovers and older high school teens! And please check out the publisher's video book trailer below: