Fire (Graceling Realm #2) by Kristin Cashore
This is where Fire lives. With a wild, irresistible appearance and hair the color of flame, Fire is the last remaining human monster. Equally hated and adored, she had the unique ability to control minds, but she guards her power, unwilling to steal the secrets of innocent people. Especially when she has so many of her own.
Then Prince Brigan comes to bring her to King City, The royal family needs her help to uncover the plot against the king. Far away from home, Fire begins to realize there's more to her power than she ever dreamed. Her power could save the kingdom.
If only she weren't afraid of becoming the monster her father was.
Fire was described as a monster with fiery red hair with streaks of pink and gold, her beauty made people swoon and some to open their minds up to her. She had the ability of penetrating one's deepest thoughts, and control minds of most persons. Although of monster descent, she did not inherit her late father Cansrel's wickedness, brutality and viciousness. But she had to make certain hard choices that made her doubt herself and her identity.
The story-line was interesting enough, though at 400+ pages I would say that it may have contained many unwanted plot branches that may as well be trimmed off. The characters in this book seem to have free sex every now and then, with sex between childhood friends, child born by rape, men who fathered illegitimate children, or friends who find themselves impregnated by the same man. But surprisingly enough, none of these people harboured any hatred towards one another despite their complex relationship which would have made best friends rip each other apart. They were very open to the notion of having bastard heirs/sons/daughters/grandchildren and even quite receiving towards them.
Apart from the way Kristin Cashore writes of relationships, which basically can be summed up with one word: messy (not the writing, but the idea it portrays), this book is filled with many wonders, and I find myself wishing to really see the monsters in their full glory, especially Fire herself, and perhaps the raptors.