Fire by Kristin Cashore
I absolutely loved Graceling, which I reviewed early in my book blogging career. Katsa was everything I wanted in a prickly heroine, Cashore’s matter-of-fact attitude towards female realities in a traditionally male-dominated genre was refreshing, and the action was thrilling. It even came with a doomed princess on top! So I’d always meant to pick up Fire, a companion for Graceling that has the origin story of that book’s Big Bad as a minor plot. I settled in, expecting Graceling round two, but I got something different. Not unwelcome, but different.