Jessica Trujillo's Reviews > Fire

Fire by Kristin Cashore
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Feb 10, 2009

liked it

** spoiler alert ** I enjoyed this book quite a bit but not nearly as much as Graceling. I had two problems with the book. First, in Graceling I felt a real connection to the other characters, but in Fire I didn't get the same depth in the secondary characters. I really felt like I knew Po in a way that I never knew Archer and Brigand. Secondly, the bad guys in this book were one note and I think the baddies are what separate the really good books from the okay books. Graceling had that great mystery aspect to it so I really didn’t notice the bad guys as much.

I also had problems with the characterization of Leck, who was all nature and no nurture. He was born bad and died bad; nothing other than his innate greed and sociopathy drive his motivations. And philosophically, I have problems in suggesting that people are born bad or good. It is true that young children are selfish and demanding unless taught better, but would a child brought up by a loving parent not develop feelings for his parent even if he had the power to control anyone? The whole angst of Fire is that she worried that she will become like here dad because she was born a monster. While Fire’s character chooses what to become, it doesn’t seem that Leck is given that opportunity. Or would Fire always turn out good because she was born that way as Leck was always going to turn out bad because he was born that way?

I don’t know if sociopaths are born or not, and I really didn’t expect an answer in this book. But I suppose I was hoping for a more nuanced approach to the character. I might not have looked for it if I didn’t enjoy Graceling as much as I did.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Cynthia Show-off! I am so very jealous....

Nikki Thanks for an interesting comment. I read it this weekend after finishing Fire myself, and you had me thinking about Leck all day. I think there's more "nurture" than it seems. I have a four-year-old son, and raising him I'm definitely learning how much difference it makes for children to have discipline and limits. The first time he lied to me in order to get something he wanted, I was shocked! The only way to teach him not to lie is to teach him it's wrong. A child like Leck wouldn't be BORN bad, but if he always got his way, that would definitely shape his character. He would never have learned right from wrong because his father was too soft with him. I think it does happen sometimes that indulgent parents end up with psycho kids.

Aerin Interesting perspective about the secondary characters. I might agree with you,but I found Brigan one of the best male leads I've read in a long time, so I feel a little biased. :)

Alyn I don't think Leck dies. I think he's a king in Graceling. With an eye patch.

Jessie R I know my comment is waay late, but I recently re-read this book when Bitterblue was released.
I think I agree with Nikki on this one. There definately was more 'nurture' then you would think at first glance.
Leck was innately cruel, yes, but he realised as he matured quite rapidly that all of his lies were believed. Which I think maybe added to his megalomania.
His sociopathy, it seemed, was just in his 'nature' as you put it.
Because Leck is a fictional character with a fictional power makes it really interesting to speculate and ponder.
Fire and Cansrel both had the ability to control minds but they were very different also.
Fire was so responsible with her power and Cansrel was similar to Leck but not completely the same, as he still had love for his daughter.
So I suppose these books really make you think about the various uses of mind control.
I guess we are lucky such a thing doesn't exist!
Unless you count cult leaders

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