Tag Archives: Kristin Cashore

Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore

jane-unlimitedJane led a relatively quiet life.  She was raised by her Aunt Magnolia, who was an adjunct professor best known for her work as a wildlife photographer.  Sadly, Aunt Magnolia was lost on one of her adventures in Antarctica, and Jane was left completely alone.  Though able to make ends meet, Jane barely did more than mourn her aunt, work, and construct umbrellas.  Construct umbrellas?  Yes, you read that right.  Jane was a bit of an artist, but her works were elaborately themed umbrellas rather than photographs or paintings.  (One of her favorites, for example, looked like a speckled bird’s egg.)

Everything changed, though, when Jane was visited by an acquaintance named Kiran Thrash.  Kiran insisted that Jane should come home with her — to her estate, Tu Reviens, for a gala.  Though Jane was reluctant to go, she recalled a time when Aunt Magnolia had made her promise that she would go to Tu Reviens if she was ever invited.  With nothing much to lose, she agreed.  And this was where everything went wacky…  Not only did Jane meet a variety of people — everyone from Kiran’s family to the caretakers of the Tu Reviens property — but she also found herself in the midst of a great heist.  Right as everyone was ramping up and preparing for the gala, some very famous (and very expensive) artwork went missing.

This was nothing like the Graceling [fantasy] stories, though I don’t think fans of that trilogy will necessarily be disappointed.  Jane, Unlimited was very much a mystery/spy story, but it had coming-of-age, romance, and science fiction elements as well.  In fact, I can’t imagine having to pin it down to a single genre.  Since it is very character driven, and there are SO MANY characters to get to know, it was a little slow for me to get into this one at first.  I think that perseverance paid off, but I feel compelled to “warn” readers, nevertheless, that this book has a bit of a Groundhog’s Day feel to it.   There were several times where I wondered if I had lost my place and read something over again only to realize that only some, not all, of that information had been revealed before.  I can’t say much more without giving away any spoilers, so I will just have to ask you to trust me on this one and read it when it comes out in September.  (Hope you like it as much as I did.)

Happy Reading!

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Fire by Kristin Cashore

Although this book takes place in the same world as Graceling, it contains only one person with a Grace.  Instead, we delve into the fantastic world of monsters — beautiful, colorful creatures who also have a great deal of power.  Fire is the last of her kind, a “human monster” — half-human, half-monster — whose name was chosen because of her beautiful hair in varying shades of red, orange, and pink.  Much like Katsa (of Graceling), Fire is amazingly strong and fast.  She is also musically gifted, can control people’s minds, and can incite an attack (by monsters or men alike) with the mere presence of her unnatural beauty.

The Kingdom of the Dells is on the verge of war, with multiple people planning to overthrow the king, and the royal family is hoping that Fire will help them to keep the king safe.  Fire’s abilities make her the perfect ally, since she can easily extract information from enemy spies, but she has conflicting feelings about using her powers… even if it’s for good.  Because her father, Cansrel, had used his powers to bring about so much pain and destruction, Fire feels guilty for merely being a “monster.”

There are so many layers to the story that it is difficult to explain without giving away too much.  Cashore has a little something to offer for every reader — romance, mystery, suspense, humor and pain.  I’m very confident that if you liked Graceling, you will want to read Fire too!

Happy Reading!