Here's the other two books that I am dying to read this year (so far!). I recommend reading the notes underneath each book to learn about how I came across these authors and what I really love about them.
Fire by Kristin Cashore
Publication Date: October 6th, 2009
Fire, Graceling's prequel-ish companion book, takes place across the mountains to the east of the seven kingdoms, in a rocky, war-torn land called the Dells. Beautiful creatures called monsters live in the Dells. Monsters have the shape of normal animals: mountain lions, dragonflies, horses, fish. But the hair or scales or feathers of monsters are gorgeously colored-- fuchsia, turquoise, sparkly bronze, iridescent green-- and their minds have the power to control the minds of humans. Seventeen-year-old Fire is the last remaining human-shaped monster in the Dells. Gorgeously monstrous in body and mind but with a human appreciation of right and wrong, she is hated and mistrusted by just about everyone, and this book is her story. Wondering what makes it a companion book/prequel? Fire takes place 30-some years before Graceling and has one cross-over character with Graceling, a small boy with strange two-colored eyes who comes from no-one-knows-where, and who has a peculiar ability that Graceling readers will find familiar and disturbing... (Goodreads)
Note: I found Kristin Cashore's first book Graceling online by accident and it is one of my birthday presents. I love finding new authors, especially those in fantasy. This is one author to watch and I can't wait to grab this off the shelf. Here's an article about publishing of the book.
Heart's Blood by Juliet Marillier
Publication Date: November 3rd, 2009
This is a stunning gothic love story based on the legends of Beauty and the Beast. Whistling Tor is a place of secrets, a mysterious, wooded hill housing the crumbling fortress of a chieftain whose name is spoken throughout the district in tones of revulsion and bitterness. A curse lies over Anluan's family and his people; those woods hold a perilous force whose every whisper threatens doom. For young scribe Caitrin it is a safe haven. This place where nobody else is prepared to go seems exactly what she needs, for Caitrin is fleeing her own demons. As Caitrin comes to know Anluan and his home in more depth she realizes that it is only through her love and determination that the curse can be broken and Anluan and his people set free. (Goodreads)
Note: Juliet Marillier's first book Daughter of the Forest caught my eye in a local bookstore in 2001 or 2002.. I sometimes go by covers for authors, and John Jude Palencar's cover on her first book caught my eye. Ever since, I have bought every book. I usually don't buy hardcover books, but she is the exception to my rule. I truly say that she is my favorite author.
Any books that you are looking forward to this year? Anything you found by accident not published this year? I know I probably will. Keep any eye out for future posts or let me know your thoughts.