So freakin' awesome! Cashore's writing and world building kept me eagerly turning each page. The world she creates in Fire is so foreign from Gracelin...moreSo freakin' awesome! Cashore's writing and world building kept me eagerly turning each page. The world she creates in Fire is so foreign from Graceling's world, but just as fascinating. By page 3 you'll be sucked into this world where colorful and beautiful monsters tempt man into folly a.k.a. being lunch.
She does a superb job with character building. None of her characters are black and white, but shades of gray. Fire, like Katna from Graceling, is a strong heroine who one can't help but admire and respect, but who is also flawed. Cashore doesn't do cookie cutter flawless perfect heroines, who are unrelateable. This makes her heroines more real and also more interesting.
A recurring theme here that was also in Graceling was Fire trying to reconcile herself to who she was vs. who she is expected to be. There is also the question of whether a monster has to be a monster--another concept that was explored in both books.
The relationships Fire builds throughout the book are honest and real. These relationships help sustain her through the worst. She faces difficult, devastating, and in some instances truly horrific circumstances with courage and dignity. Even though there is pain and despair there's hope too.
One of the most beautiful aspects of this book was the capacity for love--even towards those who have fundamental flaws. Fire is a truly empathetic and compassionate character--not just toward friends, but towards those who would be her enemy. Truly beautiful.
Seriously, every teen girl should read Graceling and Fire. I'll so be reading Bitterblue when it's released.(less)
I loved this book. I knew before the first chapter was finished that I'd be reading the companion books to Graceling.
The story itself was engrossing...moreI loved this book. I knew before the first chapter was finished that I'd be reading the companion books to Graceling.
The story itself was engrossing and the world building was fascinating. I thought the author did a good job with character development and in building relationships, especially with regards to Katsa and Po and Katsa and Bitterblue. Beautifully written and I can't wait to read the next installment.
I've read many reviews and I find it odd how much backlash there is to Katsa's untraditional relationship with Po and her unwillingness to marry or have children.
These critics act like it's completely unheard of for a woman not to want marriage and children. Newsflash, It's the 21st century and not everyone wants the traditional family. Im sure even in previous centuries not all women wanted this. They just weren't given many other alternatives. There's nothing wrong with Katsa's view and it isn't "ultra feminist" to not want marriage or children. You wouldn't say that it's unnatural or some "masculine plot" about a guy who didn't want marriage or children, so what's the big deal about a woman not wanting this?
I can completely understand why Katsa wants to retain independence. Women in Cashore's world, who aren't blessed/cursed with a Grace that can protect themselves are seen as commodities to be bought and sold. They are not trained to protect themselves and have to rely on a stronger male to protect them and hope that he is always around to do so.
Katsa is someone of power in a world where most women don't have so much power. If I were her I'd be worried about giving up myself to another party who can then exert their will so completely over my own as well. I think it's an understandable fear.
I also think it's absurd that some people have referred to Po and Kat being intimate as having "casual sex" when there was nothing casual in her decision to take him as a lover. Casual sex would be one night stands or sex with no feeling or thought behind it. That's not the case here. Maybe those critics equate casual sex with unmarried sex - not the same thing.
I think many of these critics essentially wanted a traditional romance and were disappointed that the author created a nontraditional character who stayed true to character. They're disappointed in the romance between Po and Kat, but I thought it was lovely and real. Two people who love and respect each other enough to let the other be themselves with no pretense. Willing to take on each other, faults and all and still give each other independence and above all else love with no strings attached except honesty. That's pretty awesome.