I know everyone said they liked Fire as much as Graceling, but I was a little skeptical. I adored Graceling's characters and I wanted to read more about them, not other characters (well, one character overlaps the two stories) set in the same world (though a few decades earlier).
Fire, a monster human who can control people's minds--as can most monster creatures--is a young woman whose main goal in life is to not become like her monster father (monster in the traditional sense as well), and when she's called upon to help the king protect his kingdom from traitors, she consents--with many, many reservations.
Kristen Cashore, I eagerly await all of your forthcoming books; just let me know when to expect them. I'll make sure my bookstore gets them in for me on their release dates.