[discussion] Fire by Kristin Cashore

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?




About megtao

Student. Writer. Nerdfighter. Fights for love, justice, and awesome.
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7 Responses to [discussion] Fire by Kristin Cashore

  1. Alwyn says:

    I’m reading Fire at the moment! And by reading I obviously mean shouting “Make out! Make out!” every time Brigan and Fire are on the pages together. So yeah, definitely Brigan over Archer! And definitely with you on being excited for Bitterblue. I’ve preordered and discovered it comes out the same day as Insurgent. I may have to develop the skill of reading two books simultanously.

  2. Tamara says:

    1. I didn’t even think of those feminist aspects – you pretty much nailed them. Thanks for the facepalm moment 😉

    2. Better than Graceling, purely because I preferred the warmer (no pun intended) personality of Fire.

    3. I hated Archer. Sorry, but he was possessive and scary as hell. Prince for me, all the way!

    4. I’m sooooo excited, yes, moreso than Insurgent.

    5. Exactly.

    • megtao says:

      2. I think Fire was easier to relate to from the beginning, but there was something about Katya that really sung to me particularly. I’ve felt like Katya before, so the personal side of her story really affected me.

      3. He was definitely possessive. I wouldn’t say scary; he did back off when Fire made it clear that nothing else would happen between them. I was sad for him more than anything, but yes, I would definitely choose Prince Brigan too!

      4. This and Scarlet are like the only books I care about XD

      5. I knew you’d understand XD

  3. Loved: “this fear is a reference to the abilities that individual woman have but aren’t always comfortable showing.” YES YES YES! I agree that Cashore does a great job bringing up this theme, and I wish I could start a girl empowerment group with high school girls where we discuss these books and this topic.

    I really enjoyed the twist with Leck. It kind of blew my mind and I didn’t see it coming.

    I prefer Brigan to Archer as well. He was so masculine, and again I loved how he respected Fire and her abilities the same way Po respected Katsa.

    It’s been awhile since I read this book as well. I am so torn on whether I have the time to re-read the whole series before starting Bitterblue. I want to so I’m more familiar, but I have so many books to read right now, and re-reading always makes me impatient. Hmmm. Maybe I should go the audio book route. Compromise?

    And didn’t you think the physical book of Bitterblue was gorgeous?!?! With the artwork and everything?!?! Swoon!

    • megtao says:

      I just kind of stroked Bitterblue for awhile before I read it. Everything about that book was gorgeous. You could definitely get away without rereading (though they’re such good books it wouldn’t hurt to reread them just because XD).

  4. Shannon says:

    I have just had something mind-blowing happen to me. Have you all ever forgotten the name of a book and it’s entire plot and only remember one detail with clarity? Well I was searching for a book for months and the only thing I could remember was that the main character was female and had brilliant red colored hair and other hues of amazing red. I searched the internet for a book like that and I passed over the novel, Fire, by Kristin Cashore. I read the summary and thought this is interesting and so I read the first book of the series Graceling, which was awesome by the way, and then I moved on to Fire. And what the heck it was the book I spent looking for months, right before my eyes. I can’t believe it! I didn’t know I had read the second book of the Graceling series all those years ago! It’s so freaking amazing and I also feel very stupid haha. Now I’m going to go back to reading it…

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