Fire by Kristin Cashore

I just have to say that Graceling set a bar for Young Adult books in my eyes. That book was so amazing with the story and the characters that I knew that Fire would have competition, even though they are written by the same author. Let me just tell you that it's a tie. I can't possibly choose between them.

Fire is a human monster. Her hair is the color of fire and her monster blood is desired by other monsters that encounter her. Along with monsters trying to kill her she also has to deal with humans falling in love with her constantly because of her extreme beauty. Being a monster makes her quite different from humans, including her ability to read/control people's minds. She's beautiful and she can control people's minds. Does anyone else think she might be an annoying main character? That's what I thought at first glance. I was going to be so pissed if I read a book about every guy falling in love with this one chick all la-di-da with no action or anything. Then I remembered how amazing of a story Graceling was and I chilled out a bit. I knew someone that wrote Graceling couldn't possibly write some sloppy seconds book. Fire is a girl that can fight and hold her own in the world. She proves this time and time again throughout the story.

Now let me get to the story. Fire and her friend Archer are living a semi-peaceful life in the not-so-peaceful area of the Dells. After a visit to Queen Roen's place, Fire encounters Brigan who doesn't fall on his knees for her. In fact he sort of hates her and threatens her. After this awkward meeting and Fire is back home guess who shows up to take her to King's City? Yup, bad boy Brigan. Fire thinks that Brigan is bad now? Wait until she meets his brother Garan. Oh and add King Nash to the mix who constantly proposes to Fire, as well as their sister Clara who is pretty amazing much like Fire. Well let's just say that Fire is going to have a bit of a time here in King's City. She learns more about the King and his family than she ever thought possible, and she even learned about her family as well. What made this book so great is how troubled the good guys are. There is rape, assassinations, and betrayal all around Fire and she's caught in the middle of it. While all of this is going on she also has to learn that her power is nothing like her father's, Cansrel, who used his for evil. She has more love for people that Cansrel ever had for anyone. She has to confront her past as well as some unresolved issues with her dear friend Archer.

The romance in this book is insane too. At first I didn't think that a real romance could form and that it would just be Fire sleeping with different people. Then she realizes who she really loves and who can't get any further with her than sex. By the end of the book I was happy with her choice though I had sympathy for the one who got left out.

This book's action took place mostly in castles whereas Graceling took place in the wilderness, and while the setting has obviously differed the story is still fantastic. I give this book 5/5.