Imagine a world where there are not only regular animals and humans, but brightly colored monster animals and humans that are vicious and beautiful and can compel you to do anything they want you to do? This is the world where Fire lives, and she is one of these monster humans, with hair all shades of reds and pinks and beauty so stunning that men and woman alike will do unreasonable things, like try to kiss her or kill her on sight. Fire has always hated her abilities, but she is the only monster human left ever since her greedy and scheming father, Cansrel, killed himself. Monster human blood attracts monster animals, and so she is in constant danger of attacks- the only thing that saves her is her ability to manipulate creature’s minds, which is something her father delighted in but she has always felt made her a terrible person. When mysterious attacks by blank-minded men make her home estate an unsafe place, she happily takes the invitation to visit the King’s city, even though it means having a constant steel-minded guard with her and trusting herself to the sullen younger brother of the king, Prince Brigan. The dangers are many and the longer she is away from home the more mysteries present themselves. Can she help a kingdom that is quickly falling apart, a good king who cannot control himself around her, and a damaged prince who seems to be the only one to understand her?
Once again, this author does a wonderful job of world building. This book is part of the Graceling series but is set in a land that knows nothing of the Graceling-filled kingdoms, separated from them by a treacherous mountain range. You do not need to read Graceling in order to understand the story- Fire actually takes place before Graceling and is considered a companion novel. Fantasy lovers, you will not be dissapointed!