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Graceling and Fire January 20, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 4 stars, 5 stars, Fantasy.
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Graceling

by Kristin Cashore

Gracelings are extraordinarily gifted individuals that are the property of kings. Katsa’s Grace is killing. Due to the nature of her Grace she grows up an outcast. Isolated from her fellow peers, she hardens her heart to people.

Katsa begins training with a fellow Graceling with a fighting Grace, Po. This story is about her coming of age and her subsequent adventures with Po.

It’s a full-bodied story that won’t disappoint. If the dialogue of Katsa is stilted and abrupt, chalk it up to her upbringing and her personality. She’s not your run-of-the-mill girl.

Po is her exact opposite. He’s outgoing and charming. Full of easy humor.

Their love story is inevitable. It’s poignant and sweet without the heaviness of a saccharine sweet, sappy, romance.  It was easy to feel a rapport between the two and to cheer along the sidelines for them.

Of course this book is about more then their love. They head straight into danger and it had me holding my breath as I never knew if it would be another Romeo and Juliet.

I admired Katsa for she held true to herself to the very end. Her fast-paced adventures with Po also held me enthrall.

5 of 5 stars

Fire

by Kristin Cashore

Beyond Katsa’s Seven Kingdoms lies the Dells where monsters of all sorts run rampant. Monster bugs, monster raptors, monster lions, monster horses. Even monster humans gifted with mind control.

It’s in this setting, we pedal back to about 10 years before Katsa’s time to a land that has been wasted by a monster human named Cansrel. The land is rife with civil unrest. His half-human daughter, Fire, lives as an outcast in the secluded north.

This story is about her fight to keep her ethics intact as she’s pulled into the fight to keep the kingdom intact.

She’s a thoughtful, considerate, and a sympathetic character. She always hesitates to use her powers for fear of harming others and for fear of becoming her father.

The supporting cast was equally alive, keeping the story vibrant and animated.

There’s very little crossover between Graceling and Fire. Nonetheless, Fire can hold its own.

I will say, that Fire got off to a shaky start. It was sluggish and slow. It wasn’t until nearly the 20% mark that I truly got engrossed. It was still worth the slog to get there.

4 of 5 stars.

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