Fire by Kristin Cashore
Set in a world of stunningly beautiful, exceptionally dangerous monsters, Fire is one of the most dangerous monsters at all - a human one. Marked out by her vivid red hair, she's more than attractive. Fire is mesmerising. But with this extraordinary beauty comes influence and power. People who are susceptible to her appeal will do anything for her attention, and for her affection. They will turn away from their families, their work, and their duties for her. They will forget their responsibilities to please her...and worse, crush nations, neglect kingdoms and abuse their power.
Aware of her power, and afraid of it, Fire lives in a corner of the world away from people, and away from temptation. Until the day comes when she is needed--a day when, for her king, she has to stand against not only his enemies, but also against herself...
Synopsis from Waterstones, and it makes me smile because, not only does it sound incredible, the synopsis is also written with British spelling! (Nerdy, I know. My non-American friends, stop laughing. Can I help that I think British spelling looks more awesome?)
Oh, and can we just pause life for a moment and drool over how BEAUTIFUL this cover is? I'm a huge fan of Graceling's cover as well, but this red is just... gorgeous. Makes me not want to take my eyes off of it. Do you think it would be a problem if I acquired the book and then didn't open it, so busy was I staring at the cover?
Fire will be released in hardcover on October 6, 2009.
Whereas Fire is sort of a prequel to Graceling (it explains a bit of Leck's origins, and if you have not been fortunate enough to read it, do it now!! With a review such as this one, why would you not?), Kristin is also working on a sequel to Graceling, tentatively titled Bitterblue, and starring the young princess herself as a sixteen-year-old. That's all I can find out about it now, but I know I sure don't want to miss it!
Okay, I'm done author-stalking now. What books are you guys waiting for?