Finished reading FIRE by Kristin Cashore (finally, I know) on the flight here. I loved GRACELING so I knew I was going to love this one as well.
Fire is a monster-woman. She is so beautiful that her appearance can cause men to basically become slobbering beasts. And she has the power to enter into the minds (especially of the weak willed) and get someone to do her bidding. There have been others like her but they tended to use their powers for self gain. Fire is determined to use hers only for good. However, when she is called upon to help Brigan and his family win a war that will affect her future as well as the lives of all who live in the Dells, she agrees. Romance, action, adventure, some nice twists and turns in the plot. But what makes this book (and GRACELING) is a feisty and well drawn young woman who knows what she wants out of life. Fire is a fully realized character and this is a stand alone book. You do not have to have read GRACELING to understand what is happening here. However, I suspect that those who have not experienced GRACELING will rush to read it and vice versa.
Now, on to some re-reading of books in preparation for the Printz meetings looming.