by Kristin Cashore
I live off of book recommendations. This series was recommended to me by my friend and it did not disappoint. I’ve never had anyone recommend a series to me where I loved the book enough to put it in my “cannot even*” pile on Goodreads.
As far as I know, I’ve also never read a book with the same intriguing magic this book captures. The first book, Graceling, sets the scene in a world of seven kingdoms where special “graced” people have superhuman abilities. These abilities can range anywhere from being graced with singing or cooking to being graced with telling lies people believe or fighting. The same scene is set for the third book, Bitterblue (which I have just finished reading). The second book, Fire, is considered the companion novel to the above two and is set in a different kingdom, but it ties in with the third and is my favorite of all three books. The magic is a little different here–contained in the beings fearfully called “monsters.”
The books all have kick-butt females (though they are not as crazy and inhuman as Tris in Divergent–but that’s another series for another time.) and really handsome sidekicks. For once, there’s lots of romance that actually doesn’t take away from how action packed and adventurous this series is. Everything is just so gorgeous and meticulously thought out.
Although this series is fantasy, it doesn’t ignore the problems we see in the world today. Among many topics, the book talks about the way men abuse women, how effectively lies and government can hide things from people, and how wonderfully understanding people can be in certain circumstances. I loved the emotions in this book because of how human they were, no matter if the human feeling them was Graced or a monster.
*my “cannot even” pile is basically books that are so awesome I cannot even describe my love for them in words. It currently consists of all the HP books, Clockwork Princess, Fire, The Outsiders, and Princess Academy.