Format: Hardback personal copy
Read: October 6, 2011
I disagree that the point of view ruined this book. It didn't, not completely. I liked Sin alright, she was dynamic and interesting, but compared to Alan, Mae, Nick, and Jamie, she can't win. Taking this point of view was a challenge, mainly because in order to include all the facts that are needed, Sin does a lot of creepy stalking in the shadows. More often than not, there's an entire scene in which Sin is watching interactions from outside a door without voicing a thought in her head and you forget that it's from her point of view.
Also, there were some loose plot threads. For example, you see Jamie from Sin's eyes, and all of his struggles are shrugged off because Sin has written him off as a magician gone to the dark side. Mae (lovable Mae whom I fell in love with in The Demon's Covenant)is a rival and is viewed in a not so nice light, and the interactions with Alan were just flat (not Alan himself, but Sin because she's not so dynamic). Plus you never really find out what becomes of Sin's little sister and brother, other than "they live happily ever after" together. I was interested in that bit (though it was a hugely side plot) and I got nothing.
Was it a good book by itself? Yes. Was it a good companion book to the series? Yeah, more or less. Was it a good way to end an awesome action-packed and witty trilogy? No. If this book was a stand alone, in addition to a book with no Sin POV, I think people would like it more. As it is, I don't believe becoming experimental in side characters at the end of a three or so year trilogy with very vocal fans was the greatest choice. However, I enjoyed the book, even if it wasn't quite up to par.
If you enjoyed The Demon's Lexicon and Covenant, pick up this book. But I'd wait for a price drop because there's a high chance you'll be a little disappointed and paying too much for it will fuel your frustrations.
Format: Hardback personal copy
Read: October 1, 2011
After reading Graceling, I was super excited to pick up anything with Kristin Cashore's name on it. I went to Amazon in search of her next masterpiece, only to find her next book didn't involve any characters from Graceling. In fact, it was termed "a companion". The word companion usually means nothing good in the world of a reader, and I didn't buy it. If I were honest, I flat out refused. But shopping at McKay's used bookstore here in Nashville, I came across a beautiful, pristine copy and picked it up for almost 75% off. I wasn't disappointed.
Where I thought that Kristin Cashore couldn't match the characters in Graceling, she most definitely did. Fire is lyrical, witty, funny, and lovable. She is so different from Katsa, an entirely different species in fact, yet I found myself loving her just as I had done with Katsa. The characters are beautifully woven, like fine silk and rubbed to perfection. Fire has weaknesses, but she's not weak. She's complicated, ashamed of herself, but so utterly and undeniably human at heart you can't help but want her to come out on top.
Of course there's a romance, no novel from Kristin Cashore could be complete without one, and it's fairly obvious who is going to hook up with whom. However, in another typical Kristin Cashore plot thread, you never can quite predict much else. Fire had me entranced, where no chapter was boring and I only skipped ahead once just to make sure nothing horrible (such as the world ending) was about to happen before I turned in for the night. This is a rare feat for me, since I have little control over my eyes and brain impulses with books.
Pick it up. If you didn't want to because there was no Katsa, do it anyways. You will love Fire and you will adore the complicated Archer and the elusive prince and his brther the king. You will not go wrong and it will be money well spent.