creative [kree-ey-tiv]: adjective. Synonyms: clever, cool, innovative, inspired, prolific, stimulating.

criticism [krit-uh-siz-uhm]: noun. The act of passing judgment as to the merits of anything.

18 Oct 2010

Fire - Kristin Cashore

This book is considered to be a "companion" to Kristin Cashore's debut novel, Graceling. It takes place years before Graceling's events, and we learn about the childhood (and childhood sociopathic tendencies) of Graceling's main antagonist, Leck.
However, for the most part it doesn't concern Leck; it concerns Fire, a girl with psychic powers and RED! hair. By "RED!", I mean unnaturally red; her hair would come out of several bottles of dye in this world, while it that world it marks her as a "monster". Monsters are creatures with unnatural colouring and psychic powers, who live in a place east of Graceling's seven kingdoms called the Dells (the Dells and the seven kingdoms are separated by a range of mountains), which is the setting of this story. Now, from what this novel tells us the monster phenotype is dominant, and also contains an aggression component: all monsters want to eat other monsters of other species.
Ok, I'm not going to explain the entire novel here (that's what Wikipedia is for), but essentially I found that it dealt with typical fantasy tropes (almost nobody has a living mother, there's eeevil fathers and good fathers and good children and eeevil children and the distinctions are pretty clear, psychic powers, again with the theme of prejudice), while keeping elements that typical fantasy novels usually forget (contraception exists! And so does menstruation; when Fire's bleeding, monsters smell her monster blood and want to attack, and the particular type of blood involved doesn't matter. Also, PMS (as in cramps, mostly), exists and is acknowledged.).
I liked it better than Graceling, to be honest.
I think I'll keep an eye out for this author's next novels.

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