There is so much I could say about this precious book. But will manage to say just a little this time. The writing is stunning. The characters are incredible. And this world created was even more exciting and amazing than the Graceling world. Okay, set in the same world, just different parts of it. And I loved that very much.
Fire got to me even more this time, I think. It hurt my heart even more. It made me love these characters even more. And I am so in love with the world that Kristin has created. I cannot wait to re-read Bitterblue next and then finally get to read Winterkeep. And I could not be more excited. But I do wish there could be more of Fire and Brigan together. They are amazing and there is still so much I would love to know. But with this book taking place many years before the other books, that isn't possible. Sigh. I am very happy with this book, though. It ends perfectly too. Heartbreaking at times, of course, but so very good. I felt so much for Fire while re-reading this lovely book. Her hurt broke me. She had happy moments too, that I loved most. I loved how she went from having only one friend, to many. I loved how Fire changed.
Fire takes place in the Graceling world. Only in a different part of it, called the Dells. And I must say that I loved this part of the world the most. Because of the bright colors and the beauty. Because of the monster animals that lived there. It was so interesting and so exciting to read about. I completely loved this world. And learning more about it was always fun. This is also a book that shows us Leck as a child. Which was all kinds of horrifying, as it shows how he was always bad. And he did such horrible things. Worst villain.
Now to talk a little about Fire. The most amazing girl I have read about. She is the last human monster in this world. She is beyond beautiful. With the most stunning red hair, which she must hide almost all the time. She has the power of mind control. People go crazy when they see her. Monsters want to eat her. Men want to hurt her or have her, which is the same thing, really. Her father was a monster too, as has been dead for two years now. Fire has such conflicted feelings about her father, and for good reasons.
Because her father was a true monster. He hurt people with his mind control, he had some sort of control over the king too. And him dying was the best thing for this kingdom. But Fire is still hurting because of it, as he was still her father. And he loved her, like he loved nothing else. Fire was a gentle person. She did not hurt people. She did not use her power for bad things. I loved her relationship with Archer. They had been friends since they were babies. Then lovers, but nothing more than that, despite his wishes. Hmph.
The kingdom was at war. And that war came to the door of Fire. She had to travel to the king's city, weeks away. And it was such a great journey. I loved reading about her quiet life, and loved reading about her getting to see the king's place the most. I have never really liked Archer. He was controlling and jealous. Which is why Fire ended things with him, though he was still her best friend. But this time I did like him more. He still made so many mistakes. So many of them. But oh, how I treasured their friendship. Sobs.
And then there was Brigan. The brother of the young king, Nash. Brigan hated Fire at first. And Nash wanted to marry her, as he could not control himself around her. I did not like him for a long time. But he grew on me. And Brigan. Sigh. He was the most precious man. Their relationship started off badly. But slowly grew into more. And reading about Brigan and Fire together was the most amazing thing. I loved them beyond words. I loved getting to know him. I so loved how they cared for each other. Fully magical.
I have now written too much about this book. Yet never enough. And so I will share a little more, but not much. I simply cannot get over how amazing this book is. And how badly I love it, every part of it. There is a war. The book takes place over almost a year, as things moved slowly. But I loved it. I loved getting to know the twins and Hanna. And Fire's guards. I loved Fire and her love for music. I loved Brigan and his love for horses. I loved how horrible this book could be too. Mostly I just loved how very beautiful it was.
Fire was everything that I wanted it to be. Okay, this is my fifth time reading it, but still. It was just what I needed right now, after having had such a long time with a bad reading slump. Reading Graceling before it was the best, of course. But I love these two books just as much. And they mean the world to me. And Bitterblue too. I really hope that Winterkeep will be just as perfect as I think it will be. If you still have not read Fire then you really must do so. This is still very much a series, though, so do start with Graceling.