Cashore, K. (2009). Fire. New York: Dial Books. ISBN: 978-0803734616. Hardcover: $21.99. Also available in paperback, e-book, and audiobook format.

Winner of a Cyblis Award for young adult fantasy/sci-fi (2010). Included in the list for ALA Best Books for Young Adults (2010), Publisher’s Weekly Best Books for Children (2009), and School Library Journal’s Best Books (2009).

Monsters roam the land of the Dells. These aren’t the ordinary horrific monsters though. They look just like ordinary animals, except for their vibrant colors: sky blue rabbits, sunset orange horses, fuchsia lions, and even girls with fire-red hair. This girl is named Lady Fire. She, like all other monsters can control the minds of those around her. Between this mind control and her other monster power of entrancing people with her beauty, Fire is dangerous. But she’s also the only one left of her kind. To protect herself, she lives in an estate far out in the country with her lover, Archer.

When a poacher with a mysteriously empty mind finds Fire in the woods, she leads him back to Archer’s house, where he is put in the dungeons. In the morning though, he is found mysteriously murdered. This sets off a chain of events that brings Fire to King’s City, where she finds herself aiding the spymasters to interrogate the rebels threatening to tear the kingdom apart. She also finds herself in the company of royals and the object of their affection. While there Fire meets the source of the mysteriously empty minds: A young boy named Leck with hauntingly different colored eyes and powers that he refers to as a Grace. Political tension rises, strange powers are at work, and it is up to Lady Fire to help set things right and find her own happiness.

This book is a companion to Graceling and Bitterblue, and while you don’t need to read Graceling to enjoy Fire, I would highly recommend giving the other books a look as well!

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