Haven’t read it? Check out my review here!
My favourite part of books is discussing them with other fans. Because I want my reviews to remain spoiler-free as they’re more likely to be read by those who haven’t read the book yet, I’m also planning to post “book discussions” for many of the books I review. Obviously, these book discussions will contain spoilers and much flailing. Maybe some intellectual-like discussion…but mostly flailing.
As much as I tried not to, I went into Fire expecting to find another Kastsa, and at first I was a little disappointed not to find her, but I soon realized that while Fire was different to Katsa, she was just as awesome as her. Like Katsa, Fire is afraid of her own powers, and I think this fear is a reference to the abilities that individual woman have but aren’t always comfortable showing. You guys know what I’m talking about, right? Playing dumb so that a guy isn’t intimidated by you and such. Honestly, I still catch myself doing it all of the time, and I don’t think I’m the only women out there that downplays her abilities sometimes.
Another pro-woman/feminist aspect that I really liked was the talk of female sexuality and, I know this will sound strange, menstruation. Female sexuality is often ignored or villainized, but not only is female sexuality normal in Fire, but at the same time it isn’t brushed aside as unimportant. There are consequences to not having safe sex, but women who have sex aren’t considered sluts. I like that sex wasn’t put on a pedestal or ignored.
Menstruation is often non-existent in novels, but not only is it mentioned in Fire but it becomes a kind of power and hindrance for Fire. I think this is a kind of allegory for the femininity itself. Being a woman can be a powerful thing, like how when Fire is menstruating she becomes powerfully attractive to the other monsters. But it can also be a barrier. Being a woman means you often have to fight harder than a man may have to for recognition in society. Also, I really like that we get Fire teaching Brigan’s daughter about this aspect of being woman. Female relationships in this story are much more positive than you find in Graceling, I think.
Speaking of Prince Brigan OH MY GOD YOU GUYS. I mean, he’s no Po (haha rhymes), but honestly between him and Archer my heart was being torn every which way and I loved it so much. Archer’s jealousy mixed with love made me see why he couldn’t be with Fire, but it was such a good representation of how sometimes relationships just can’t work no matter how much you may love each other if there isn’t equality and respect. And Prince Brigan was all broody and hot and all fatherly and sweet and I was so completely in love. How he fights for his brother and his kingdom and it makes me want to throw all rules of grammar out the metaphoric window.
I need more of these characters. I’m kind of hoping that Bitterblue will be the joining of the two lands somehow, but then I’m also sad because it’ll be so much in the future and does that mean Fire and Brigan will be old or dead? Either way, I really need to read Bitterblue like yesterday.
Questions to consider
1. What do you think of the feminist aspects?
2. Better/worse/equal to Graceling?
3. PRINCE BRIGAN OR ARCHER OR BOTH?