Kristin Cashore, Author . Dial $17.99 (461p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3461-6

This prequel to Graceling , Cashore's smashing debut, may initially frustrate readers wanting more about Katsa and Po. Fire takes place long before Katsa's birth in an adjacent kingdom called the Dells and shares only one character. But its themes—embracing your talents and moving out of your parents' shadow—are similar, as is the absorbing quality of Cashore's prose. The Dells do not have gracelings; they have beautiful creatures called monsters that are like normal animals except for their exquisite coloration. Seventeen-year-old Fire, who can read and control minds, is the last human monster. Her father, a corrupt adviser to a debased king, recognizes the dangers of her powers and exiles her to the hills, where she is raised by an out-of-favor military commander and befriended by his son, Archer. Many twists propel the action, and although astute readers will suspect who the eventual lovers will be from their first hateful meeting, the buildup to their romance provides tension that keeps the pages turning. Cashore's conclusion satisfies, but readers will clamor for a sequel to the prequel—a book bridging the gap between this one and Graceling . Ages 14–up. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 07/20/2009
Release date: 10/01/2009
Genre: Children's
Prebound-Sewn - 461 pages - 978-1-61383-143-4
Paperback - 334 pages - 978-0-575-08512-1
Hardcover - 334 pages - 978-0-575-08511-4
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-61587-121-6
Hardcover - 599 pages - 978-1-4104-2666-6
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Hardcover - 412 pages - 978-84-9918-101-1
Hardcover - 461 pages - 978-0-8037-3461-6
Hardcover - 432 pages - 978-0-15-206703-8
Compact Disc - 10 pages - 978-0-14-314511-0
Prebound-Glued - 461 pages - 978-0-606-23085-8
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-101-19317-4
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-1-78062-091-6
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