Her first book in the Graceling Realm series was called Graceling.
I love the “graces” or skills that allow them to be better than average at just one thing. They usually have odd colored eyes of two different colors. Unfortunately being “graced” makes you immediately enslaved as in most of the 7 kingdoms the “graced” are the property of the King or Ruler. A “graced” fighter or an archer would be better at that skill than any number of regular people. There are people “graced” with all sorts of skills from cooking to fighting. The heroine of the story, Katsa, is reluctant to be the heroine and yet still does everything just to protect someone who is weaker than herself. Katsa is actually one of the things I liked best; she learned to believe in herself and her own power and use it to better her entire world. I just enjoyed an adult heroine who learns to balance her skills and the needs of the world with her own personal needs.
Fire is in the same world as Graceling but on the other side of the continent.
Seriously this one amazed me as I could just see the colors and images of the main character and the odd animals in this world. The descriptions were amazing and very rich. The heroine has the most amazing hair description I have ever read. It takes place in the same world yet before the events of the first story. This one has more “monsters” than Graceling but it is interesting to see how the “graced” and the monsters interact.
I just discovered that there is a new book in the series that I have yet to read. Bitterblue which takes place about 8 years after the events in Graceling.
I am immediately adding this to my reading list and hope you do too.