Saturday, August 22, 2009

MockPrintz: Fire by Kristin Cashore

Title: Fire
Author: Kristin Cashore
Publisher: Dial
Starred Review:The Horn Book, Kirkus, Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and School Library Journal

It is kind of mean of me to mention this book when it isn't released until October, but you'll want to make sure you put your name on the holds list in advance.

Fire is part-human, part-Monster, and while most of the monsters in the Dells are rabid, vicious creatures, Fire is lovely on the outside and inside. She has the ability to read people's minds, talk to them inside their heads, and influence them, but she does not use this power for evil unlike her father Cansrel did before his death. The royal family requests Fire's assistance in investigating spies from opposing forces in the kingdom. She leaves her childhood friend and lover Archer to join the family. This summary does not do the book justice.

Although there is a lot of action in this novel, the story is primarily character driven. The characters are so well-drawn and the writing is stellar. Realistic fiction writers should take note of this book, as the romance is so well-developed you spend the book waiting desperately for the resolution, as opposed to most contemporary YAs in which the love interest is bland and the protagonist barely has a conversation with the guy before the tepid kiss at the end.

Fire is a prequel to the lovely Graceling, but completely stands alone. Only one character appears in both books but the appearance does not require knowledge of the other book.

I would be surprised if this book didn't end up with a Printz Honor sticker, though I'm not quite sure it will take the top prize.