Fire by Kristin Cashore
(Dial, Hardcover, October 2009)
In Fire's world, there are monsters...and she is one of them. Breathtakingly beautiful, Fire is able to control people's minds. It's not a power that she embraces, however. Raised by her monster father and made to witness the horrible results of his mind controlling, she denies her heritage and hides her gorgeous red hair and her talents. Until she meets Prince Brigan. Fire cannot access his mind and, despite the fact that Brigan seems to loathe the sight of her, Fire admires his strength and is willing to use her powers if it means saving his life.
Kristin Cashore is the author of one of my favorite books from earlier this year, Graceling. Fire takes place in a neighboring land and once again deals with outcasts, strong women, and political intrigue. Cashore deftly blends heart stopping action with multi-faceted characters and the result is some of the best fantasy being written today. Emotionally abused as a child, Fire must deal with her own past in order to accept her future. Much like Katsa in Graceling, Fire learns that being different--being a monster--is not all bad. And can we all just take a moment to swoon over Cashore's heros?! If you liked Po, Brigan is sure to sweep you off your feet!
Kristin also has a wonderful blog called This Is My Secret. Check it out while you wait for Fire to hit bookshelves in October.