“You are neither my husband nor my father; I am a woman of seventeen, I have my own horses and my own money, and I decide for myself where I go and when. This is not yours to forbid.”
Want to see an author make herself distinguished? Have them write two books set in the same world, different times and tell a completely different story. Fire by Kristin Cashore manages to breathe new life into The Dells and is a prequel to Graceling. I love that Fire does not recycle the plot line of Graceling – rather the title character Fire blazes a trail completely different from Katsa.
“A life that was an apology for the life of his father: It was a notion she could understand, beyond words and thought. She understood it the way she understood music.”
The Dells are a strange land next to the Seven Kingdoms where monsters roam. Monsters are strangely colored (pink, etc) animals or people who control the will of others. Fire is a human monster. The royal family approaches Fire for help in the inevitable war because she can enter people’s minds — therefore she can function as a lie detector. Fire then begins to bond very strongly with Prince Brigan, who is the army commander.
“Love doesn’t measure that way, she thought to him. And you may blame me for your feelings, but it isn’t fair to blame me for how you’ve chosen to behave.“
What I personally enjoy about Fire and Cashore’s writing is how much feminist theory makes an appearance. I am not an expert by any means (I only took intro to women’s studies) but I recognize basic tenets when I see them. I.e. Fire is a human monster- meaning when men and some women see her rainbow colored hair, they fall into lust with her and turn her into a sex object. We see that being the object of male gaze is no walk in the park – it’s very uncomfortable especially because Fire wants to be valued for her personality.
“If we one a person was going to die, we’d hold harder to the memories.”
Fire by Kristin Cashore is sex-positive. We get to hear about characters engaging in responsible sex using BIRTH CONTROL. (You would be surprised at how hard of a concept birth control is to some people). ALSO, the consequences of unprotected sex. Fire is not shamed or called a slut or anything because she has sex outside of a committed relationship. I like this. And I realize people will disagree, which is FINE – I, however, personally like examples of responsible sex that does not conflate sex with love.
FINALLY, slow burn sexy love occurs in Fire by Kristin Cashore. I mean, I feel young adult fictional relationships are much more melty when the author takes more than five pages to develop the relationship. There is something to be said for developing feelings and emotions and reading the growing attraction. It’s very toe-curling and the way Cashore shows relationships is quite unconventional. Y’all I cannot freaking wait for Bitterblue which releases May 1, 2012.
Disclosure: Secret Santa copy.