Her intensely bright red hair matches her name, and Fire's beauty meets that intensity full on. Fire comes from a difficult background and her father was one of the cruelest men known to the kingdom, but she now lives among a handful of people who truly care for her. Brocker is a solid father figure, and Archer is unwavering in his love and support for her. But war is imminent and she finally agrees to work as a spy alongside King Nash, his brother Brigan, and their half-siblings. Fire has the limited ability to control others' minds by using her own beauty to encourage and influence their thoughts and behaviors. Unfortunately, for Fire, she cannot always control how one will react to seeing her: "Why did hatred so often make men think of rape? . . . As often as the power of her beauty made one man easy to control, it made another man uncontrollable and mad." (p.145) No one is safe in the Dells during this time, least of all Fire, as it becomes obvious that all along it is she who is the focus of battle. Each side wants to possess Fire for his own purposes.
Readers of Graceling will be able to reaffirm their disdain for Leck, the evil he relishes in, and the power that he craves. With the swirling intricacies of romance, fantasy, adventure, and humor, Fire will draw many, many fans. Each element that creates this story work in unbelievable tandem. Recommended to fantasy and non-fantasy readers alike: Fire will capture you.
Call number: YA CASHORE
Reviewed by kate the librarian
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