Parents' Guide to

Fire: Graceling Realm, Book 2

By Debra Bogart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Stellar fantasy heroine in mature action-adventure/romance.

Fire: Graceling Realm, Book 2 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 14+

Engaging, but look for hidden messages on sex and violence.

This is the first book in a series, it's quite engaging, and if you child likes it, they will want to read all three. However, you'll want to read it, too, as there is quite a bit that you'll want to talk to you child about. The series contains a lot of violence--from fighting, wars, and torture (of animals, and in later books, of people). This is handled mostly pretty well, but it bears pointing out (spoiler alert) that the protagonist is a hired thug to rough-up or kill others (although she has a conscience about it). There are mentions of rapes, visions of torture and murder, etc. in the series (particularly the last one, "Bitterblue")--all in all, pretty grim. The part that bothered me in general is that in all the books in the trilogy, there is the general message that sex is a casual thing between friends (particularly prevalent in "Graceling", the second book, where two characters get together just to "hook-up"). One can admire that there are many references to taking an herb to avoid pregnancy (some notion of "safe sex"), but as this is in a fantasy land, there are apparently no sexually-transmitted diseases, so no concern over that. In general, the not-so-subtle take-home message from the books in the series is that sex feels good and is fine between friends so long as you do something not to get pregnant, which isn't something I'd want my kids reading without talking to them about it. Unlike some reviewers, I don't subscribe to the notion that just because kids today are barraged with sex and violence in the media, that it's appropriate for them. I would not recommend this series to those under 13. (If they were made into movies, they would definitely get at least a PG-13, based on violence and sex.)
age 18+

Very loose morality

The sex in this book is appalling. It is debase and inappropriate for kids of ANY age. It was truly a disappointment because Graceling was a good read, despite the two inappropriate lines that my 11 year old would not understand anyway, at least I hope he wouldn't. It is also written in such a way that it sounds "okay" to behave so poorly and make such poor choices. I have never written a book review before, but felt compelled to do so due to the lack of any morality in this book. My kid's Mom

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5 ):
Kids say (28 ):

Elegant world-building creates a medieval fantasy full of mystery, romance, and complex characters with secrets that are slowly and carefully revealed. The main character is the most compelling, raising the bar for what makes the perfect heroine. Turning away from her monster heritage and living as a human -- and becoming embroiled in the moral obligations that come with that choice -- is just the beginning of her trials. And of course there's the heartbreak as well.

This is one of those books marketed to young adults that will also have a large adult readership due to the strong, heroic characters; beautiful imagery; and a setting in which women have many kinds of freedom and many kinds of power.

Book Details

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