Graceling and is set in a different area of the world, so if you read ahead, you won't be spoiled. However, I would definitely read Graceling before Fire if you were to read them both because there are certain things in Fire that still tie in to Graceling.
[description from goodreads]
It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. The young King Nash clings to his throne while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. The mountains and forests are filled with spies and thieves and lawless men.
This is where Fire lives. With a wild, irresistible appearance and hair the color of flame, Fire is the last remaining human monster. Equally hated and adored, she has the unique ability to control minds, but she guards her power, unwilling to steal the secrets of innocent people. Especially when she has so many of her own.
Then Prince Brigan comes to bring her to King City. The royal family needs her help to uncover the plot against the king. Far away from home, Fire begins to realize there’s more to her power than she ever dreamed. Her power could save the kingdom.
If only she weren’t afraid of becoming the monster her father was.
I absolutely love Graceling, so I jumped into Fire with much enthusiasm and admittedly high expectations. I much prefer Graceling, but I enjoyed reading this one as well.
What prevented me from loving Fire anywhere near as much is that I was often unsure what the primary threat Fire was working against was. There's clearly war brewing and plenty of drama that goes along with it, but I often never understood who exactly they were going to be fighting. I prefer my villains to be out in the open, twisted, and just as developed as the good guys, but there wasn't really a figurehead for me to latch on to in Fire. Just my personal preference, but I really was hindered from enjoying the book because I was always waiting for more opposition to make itself known.
However, even without a superb villain to make all the waiting around worth it, there is much I love about Fire. Fire herself is utterly fascinating; it took me a bit to understand the full scope of her powers and influence over others, but that just made her abilities all the more striking once I began to comprehend her immense skill range. She also deals with a lot of inner turmoil in response to how to use her powers and her fear that she would end up as disgustingly manipulative as her father, making for an emotional read, especially when she inevitably lashes out and creates tension between herself and the other characters. The other characters I wish I loved as much; perhaps it was because I was so eagerly waiting for evil doers that I neglected to pay as much attention to them. At the very least, they're all different and complex in that Fire sometimes hates them, sometimes loves them, so they always add to the book's intensity.
I don't love it as much as Graceling, not by a long shot, but Fire is still a unique, intense read with a wonderful heroine.
Book details: Firebird Fantasy/Paperback/$9.99
Source: sent by publisher for review