Author: Kristin Cashore
Series: Seven Kingdoms Trilogy
This novel is set during the same time as the original Graceling novel, but it is in a different realm known as The Dells. In this realm, rather than having Gracelings, they have “monster animals”. These monsters can be bugs, birds, raptors, or I the case of Fire- a human monster. Her being a human monster causes other monsters and other humans to be drawn to her. It also gives her the ability to reach in to the minds of other animals and humans. In this uncertain time in The Dells, when war is imminent, Fire must fight a battle within herself to determine whether she is willing to expand on her ability in order to aid the king. He wants her to help him obtain information that he needs to aid his efforts in the coming war. Her doing this may possibly save her own life, as well.
This sequel/companion/whatever they are calling it now (it looks like the series name changed with re-publishing, as well, from Seven Kingdoms to just Graceling Realm) didn’t grab me right off the bat in the way that Graceling did. I won’t say that it started off slowly, it just wasn’t quite as engrossing in the beginning. It did get better pretty quickly, though, and I ended up really enjoying it. It’s not the rave review of Graceling, but it was definitely worth reading.