Cashore, Kristin. 2009. FIRE. New York: Dial. ISBN9780803734616 [Suggested Grade Levels 7- 12]
In this prequel to GRACELING, we meet Fire, the beautiful half-human, half monster who can enter people’s minds and exert her power over them—that is, everyone except for the handsome Prince Brigan, brother to King Nash who is fighting to save his kingdom. Enemies from the north and south threaten to overthrow Nash. Fire has the ability to help, but both Nash and Brigan distrust her because her father, whom she killed, has caused many of the problems the kingdom faces. Because her beauty drives humans mad with desire, she hides herself and lives simply in an isolated area of the Dells, spending time only with Archer, her best friend and occasional lover, and his father. But when Brigan arrives and asks for her aid in reading the mind of a spy, Fire agrees to go with him in an attempt to atone for the guilt she feels about her father’s actions. She and Brigan distrust each other, but also find themselves attracted to each other as the Dells prepare for war.
Set in the same world as GRACELING, but on the other side of the mountain barrier and with Leck the only character from the previous book, the story stands alone, but is made richer for those familiar with GRACELING. Cashore is a master world-builder and the complexities of this introspective, but action-filled novel make this an exceptionally powerful novel.
This novel is an excellent tool for studying characterization and setting.
Other similar fantasy novels for young adults:
Cahore, Krsitin. GRACELING. ISBN 9780547258300
Summer, Janni Lee. BONES OF FAERIE ISBN 9780375845659
By Janet Hilbun