Published: Published October 5th 2009 by Dial Books
Pages: Hardcover, 480
Genre: Young adult, Fantasy, High Fantasy, Romance
It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. 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.
This is where Fire lives. With a wild, irresistible appearance and hair the color of flame, Fire is the last remaining human monster. Equally hated and adored, she had the unique ability to control minds, but she guards her power, unwilling to steal the secrets of innocent people. Especially when she has so many of her own.
Then Prince Brigan comes to bring her to King City, The royal family needs her help to uncover the plot against the king. Far away from home, Fire begins to realize there’s more to her power than she ever dreamed. Her power could save the kingdom.
If only she weren’t afraid of becoming the monster her father was.
I’ve read this book before, I swear I have. It has only been about four years, though, admittedly, it is still one of my favorite reads. Just to be clear though, it would be beneficial for you to read Graceling before this one, just to fully appreciate the differences and certain situations. They do not, however, take place in the same place. Same basic where, almost same when, not at all the same who, or maybe I should say what. So you can read Graceling and Fire in any order, however you do need to read both before continuing to Bitterblue.
It’s not often that the main character is a monster, and I mean a monster as described as the book. Nor do you often read about monsters who can read and control minds, as well as being physically irresistible but not using it to her advantage. It’s about her struggle of trying to be good, to not use the abilities she has to manipulate people.
Her struggle stems from her father, who was well known throughout the Dells, as a man as cunning and merciless as he is beautiful. Fire spends most of the book coming to terms with what her father did and how much she loved him, and the conflicting feelings help reflect some relationships in real life, not just the book.
Why I really enjoyed this book though, is learning about a new land with different customs, traditions, creatures, people. I fell in love with these characters, but found myself hating some of their actions at the same time. I found the responses to Fire’s unusual beauty very interesting, and as time went on I found that they weren’t always predictable and I was glad that it wasn’t easy to know what was coming.
Another thing that had me so invested in this book was the romance. It might be the main focus of the book, but I didn’t feel overwhelmed by it at all. It was a perfect balance, perfectly executed, and while I was left wanting more, I wasn’t left feeling as if it was unfinished. Well, completely unfinished at least. There needs to be something else at the end, but that’s just me wanting these two people to be together; they just fit.
As much as I enjoyed it, at times I felt myself losing interest at certain points. It’s not as if it is boring, it just seemed as if there were long stretches where time was summarized too often and nothing happened. But I forged ahead and the ending was better, and I’m very happy about it.
This book will be great for you if you liked Graceling, but, like any book, not everyone will like it. I think that rule goes more for this book as I have read some reviews on Goodreads that gave it only one or two stars. I would still recommend this book though, and strongly suggest to read Graceling first, as it is a much faster paced story.
The only reason I didn’t give it a full five stars was because it was rather slow paced, and I did have a hard time staying interested at points in the book. It will continue to be one of my favorites because of many of the reasons I’ve already named and some I can’t seem to find the words for!