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Cashore, Kristin.
New York : Firebrand, 2011
ISBN 014241591X

(2 booktalks)

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Booktalk #1

What do you do when you have a tremendous power that can either help or destroy everything? That is the dilemma that Fire faces.  Fire is a “monster,” the last of her kind. She is a beautiful human who happens to have the power to control people’s minds. Her father used his gift for evil, torturing animals and people for fun, but Fire does not want to be her father.  She hides herself and her gift so that she is not tempted to harm anyone. But, when Prince Brigan arrives to take her to King City so that she can help avert a plot against the king, her life changes. As she gets to know his family and friends, she must come to terms with her past and learn the true meaning of love.  However, people still seem to want her to use her power for evil, and Fire’s life is soon in danger. While many are loyal and try to protect her, soon she is alone. As she makes a harrowing journey across the kingdom, she finally learns to trust herself and her gift.  (Book Talk Author: Kari Hagman, The Colorado Blue Spruce Award nominee 2012)

Booktalk #2

This stand alone prequel to Graceling takes place long before Katsa’s birth in an adjacent kingdom called the Dells and the books share only one character. The Dells do not have gracelings; they have beautiful creatures called monsters that look like normal animals except for their exquisite coloration.  Seventeen-year-old Fire, who can read and control minds, is the last human monster.  Though her late father used his monster powers to control the kingdom for his own evil purposes, Fire struggles to use hers only for good.  Her father recognized the dangers of her powers and exiled her to the hills where she has been raised by her guardian Lord Brocker.  When Fire accompanies Brocker’s son Archer to court, she is recruited to aid in royal intelligence missions: King Nash is attempting to suppress rivals in the kingdom which Fire’s father brought to the edge of ruin.  Although Archer longs to marry her, she is attracted to the king’s brother Brigan, the commander of his armies, who resents her because of the role her father had in the downfall of the previous king.  The romance between Fire and Brigan is slow to develop and is complicated by Fire’s more-than-friendship with Archer.  Equally intriguing is the history of her relationship with her volatile father.  As Fire travels from the hills to become part of a wider community, she learns to love the people and their kingdom and finds her place among them.  (Book Talk Author: Sharon Nehls, The Colorado Blue Spruce Award nominee 2012)

SUBJECTS:     Magic -- Fiction.
                        Extrasensory perception -- Fiction.
                        Imaginary wars and battles -- Fiction.

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