Fire by Kristin Cashore (cover)Last week I finished Fire, the prequel to Kristin Cashore’s Graceling. The book officially comes out this fall. Set in a neighboring kingdom some 35 years before Graceling, Fire tells of a world where humans and monsters–startlingly beautiful creatures with the power to affect humans’ minds–live side by side. The protagonist, a girl named Fire, is the last living human monster.

I didn’t like Fire as much as Graceling, but keep in mind that I absolutely adored Graceling. Where Katsa is a doer, Fire is a thinker. Fire spends a lot of time thinking, about herself, her past, and the world around her, which got a bit slow at times. It wasn’t the heart-pounding nonstop action that kept Graceling glued to my hands for its duration. That being said, it still only took me three days to read Fire, so it definitely wasn’t boring!

I think I also liked the idea of Gracelings better than that of monsters. Monsters affect humans in pretty much the same way across the board, whereas each Graceling has a different Grace that may or may not be accurately represented to the other characters and the reader.

One thing I especially loved is that we get a glimpse of one of Graceling‘s characters as a child!

Overall, Fire is a good book — just don’t expect another Graceling! Which, I suppose, is good. Another Graceling would not have been as original and interesting. And according to Kristin Cashore’s website, Katsa and Po will appear in the third book, tentatively titled Bitterblue. So I guess I can wait!

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