Fire takes place across the mountains to the east of the seven kingdoms, in a rocky, war-torn land called the Dells. Beautiful creatures called monsters live in the Dells. Monsters have the shape of normal animals: mountain lions, dragonflies, horses, fish. But the hair or scales or feathers of monsters are gorgeously colored — fuchsia, turquoise, sparkly bronze, iridescent green — and their minds have the power to control the minds of humans.
Seventeen-year-old Fire is the last remaining human-shaped monster in the Dells. Gorgeously monstrous in body and mind but with a human appreciation of right and wrong, she is hated and mistrusted by just about everyone — but the royal family needs her help. The young King Nash clings to his throne while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. The mountains and forests are filled with spies and thieves and lawless men. Can Fire lend her power to help uncover a plot against the king — without becoming the monster her own father was?
Fire takes place 30-some years before Graceling and has one cross-over character with Graceling, a small boy with strange two-colored eyes who comes from no-one-knows-where…
Published in 2009, Fire is a Kirkus Best YA Book, a Washington Post Best Kid’s Book of the Year, and the winner of the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award. It’s also a New York Times bestseller.
“Fresh, hopeful, tragic and glorious.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Cashore is that rare gifted writer who can give a fantasy novel real depth…. One of the things Cashore does beautifully in Fire is to examine the workings of desire — and not always as it relates to sex…. Having created an exaggeration of female experience in Fire’s monster form, Cashore can be brutally honest about the realities of girls’ lives.” — Los Angeles Times
“There aren’t enough words to describe how awesome this book is.” — Top Pick, Romantic Times