Fire - Kristin Cashore After reading Graceling and seeing how wonderful Cashore's writing style was, how much of a strong character Katsa was, how lovely Po was, I was extremely excited to get my hands on Fire! However, that excitement quickly died down within the first 150 pages. After being introduced to Fire and Archer... and how for a few hundred pages nothing of value really happened... I was greatly disappointed.

Kristin Cashore's writing improved tremendously. In Graceling, there were parts where I felt that her writing was a bit unusual which made it difficult to read at times. However, in Fire, her writing went so smoothly! It was very descriptive and beautifully written! I could picture every single aspect of the world Cashore created. I love the creatures called "monsters," I love the landscape, and we even get to see a Graceling in this one! It was really amazing to see the world and the war that took place in it. During the war bits of the story, that's when the book was the most exciting and I wish I could have seen more of it!

Now... here's what bothered me most about the book. One character: Fire! I couldn't stand her! She was so self-absorbed, so superficial, so bratty that it made the book unbearable! She was quite pathetic, too. Every time she was getting herself hurt! I wanted to slap her upside the head for being pathetic. Another thing! She was very manipulative! She wanted everyone to feel sorry for her and love her even when she claimed she didn't. Attention--well, you know what. Some parts of the book was boring because of her as well. She was so hesitant to do anything that it just made the book drag. I was forcing myself to continue because I was interested in other aspects of the book and I wanted to see what happened with the war. I wished the book focused more on that than HER!

Don't even get me started on Archer! He was such a jerk! Just as selfish as Fire... but, of course, they are best friends. I hated him with a burning passion! I hated how possesive he was and the way he treated women! He treated them as nothing but his sex slave. He didn't care about them one bit! The only thing he cared about was pleasing himself. I swear, the women who decided to sleep with him are so stupid. They see a pretty face and right away, they want to lose themselves in the arms of a man who doesn't love them. He was disgusting. Sleeping with so many women... and what made me more upset, Fire slept with him, too, knew about the other women, AND WAS PERFECTLY FINE WITH IT! ARGH! Okay, it's safe to say that Cashore's characters are anti-marriage, I'm fine with that, but if they are to fall in love, don't want to marry but still want to be together, than at least make them loyal! That's all I ask! Loyalty! You don't need marriage! Just loyalty! BAH!

On a more positive note, I loved Brigan and a lot of the side characters. Brigan was an amazing character. He was one of the first people who didn't trust Fire and went all drooly over her. He was responsible and caring and he worked extremely hard for his kingdom. He has this secret, that I won't tell you because it's a spoiler, that made him even better than he already was. (HINT: His secret is adorable!) In fact, since he was the head of the King's Army, he took lead in a lot of the military strategy. If the story was to follow Brigan instead of Fire, this book would have been epic!!! I was really disappointed when he ended up with Fire (Not a spoiler. You know this was going to happen from the moment they meet. -_-") but I still had hope he wouldn't have... *Sighs* Garan was another awesome character. He never let Fire get away with her crap. He called her out and gave her exactly what she deserved. Musa, one of Fire's guards, was very tough and strong. I liked her. Hanna was so sweet and adorable! And that little girl could kick anyone's butt. Would have liked to read more of her. There are a lot of cool characters (and a few stupid ones... just taking a moment to remind you) that saved this book for me but I will be ranting for far too long... and we don't want that.

To sum up, the book was okay. It's not the greatest read and it's definitely not as good as Graceling but the plot (the one not concerning Fire) was very interesting and kept you wanting to read till the very end. Despite having a horrible female lead, the book was well-thought out and the world is just beautiful. I love the creatures as well! (Brigan, my love, I love horses, too!!!) If you liked Graceling then I warn you... you might not like this book. If you love Graceling, then you might like this book. However, I suggest checking it out from the library before buying it because it's good... but not great.

Edit: The review above was written on 05/06/2011. I re-read Fire on 04/25/2013. As you can see, I changed my rating from a three to a four and here's why. With this current re-read, I realized that I was very young when I first read this book and, therefore, has a lot of prejudices against it. Now I am older and a lot more open-minded. Fire definitely wasn't as bad as I made her out to be. She's still not a good character, she's bratty as all hell, but at least she wasn't a manipulative person. She acted within reason considering her surroundings. I was better to understand her motives this second time around than the first. Although... she's still pathetic at times. I seriously have no complaints other than Fire being bratty and Archer being a douche. It's the only reason why it gets a four.

So, dear readers, I think you should definitely give this book a chance. If you did and you didn't like it, try reading it again. You might come to better understand what is being told the second time around than the first. I'm glad I gave it a second chance because I know now that I did not judge it fairly. This is definitely a good book.