Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Fiercely Recommended: Fire & Fire

This is a two-fer review, for the Take a Chance Challenge #9: Same word, two books. I managed to find two books that I'm eager to read and that conveniently share a title:

Fire by Kristen Cashore AND Fire by Robin McKinley & Peter Dickinson

Cashore's book is about people fiercely determined to do the right thing, even when it is costly. Her first book, Graceling, won acclaim and glory and I really liked it, so I put down my name at the library for this one. While not quite as great as Graceling, this book also delivered a powerful and honest story. I like book with the characters want to do good, where they sometimes don't live up to their expectations but they do have high ideals for themselves. I guess that's one reason I like YA and kids books; they aren't as full of unpleasant people. Books about people fiercely determined to do the right thing. Fire is a fantasy about a land plagued by monsters, fiercely attractive versions of animals that are supremely dangerous. Fire is one of the few human monsters, and she fears herself almost more than others fear her. There's lots of action as well as characters you can care deeply about. Highly recommended.

Also, this is the second in a series, so it will be the first post in that challenge. Yay! A.

Peter Dickinson and Robin McKinley are two of my favorite fantasy kidlit authors, and I find it highly appropriate that they met and married after writing some

great stuff. Years ago they collaborated on Water, a book of short stories themed around that element, and they finally came out with Fire. Apparently they want to do a series of these anthologies, but McKinley keeps accidentally writing novels instead of stories, which is how we got the books Dragonhaven and Chalice. I only wish Dickinson had the same problem. (Her new book, Pegasus, indicates they are working on the Air book.) The stories are vivid and rich, including salamanders and dragons and the phoenix and other fiery things. Dickinson definitely writes for a more intellectual audience; some stories are more about tone and language than action, but I like that. McKinley's stories again have solidly competent people in them, a trait that was discussed at our last book club meeting, which featured all things McKinley. A.

1 comment:

Jenners said...

I wish I could keep "accidentally writing novels." That would be something!!

I love the idea of writing stories based on the elements.

And I've heard a lot of good things about "Graceling" and want to check it out soon.