Fire is a different story from Graceling altogether but it doesn't make it any less interesting. While Graceling tells a story of people who are Graced with all sort of abilities, this book deals on monsters both in the form of animals and humans and how they manipulate their looks and beauty to secure a kill. Or many kills, for that matter. By some luck, Fire is the last human monster to exist in the land of Dells. Her beauty is so breathtaking; it robs any human of their ability to think rationally. There are people who would do anything for her, some are plainly filled with hatred and jealousy and others feel she should cease to exist. The fact that she can also read and control minds doesn't win her any more friends than she already is, which is next to none. Being Fire is not easy.
Just like Graceling, it took me no time to get sucked into the story. The book was divided into four parts, excluding prologue and epilogue: Monsters, Spies, A Graceling and The Dells. Each part covered exactly the part of the story needed to be told. It was intriguing to read more about the monsters though I felt that it could have been elaborated more. It didn't differ so much from Graceling in the way that the main character was a female who is (surprise, surprise) opposed to the idea of a marriage. Then, there was this overprotective male friend who couldn't help but being in love with his friend. And the story also dealt on the politics of a kingdom. Sounds similar, right? But the similarities ended there. Both Fire and Katsa were of different personalities. Both were strong-headed definitely, but Katsa was more independent and didn't let her emotions to rule her as much as Fire's emotions did.
This is a story about a kingdom which is at the very brink of a war. This is a story about trust, loyalty, betrayal, greed and sacrifices. Ultimately, this is a story of a human monster who comes to peace with her ability.
A good read.