Brisingr, the final installment of Christopher Paolini's epic dragonrider trilogy Inheritance, will finally be out in just a few days! If you just can't wait, you can watch Christopher read an excerpt from Brisingr here.
At the moment, though, several of us here at the George are seriously engrossed in Kristin Cashore's new fantasy novel Graceling. Lady Katsa is graced with the ability to kill effortlessly. If you think this is a dubious blessing, you're right. Gracelings in general are feared and avoided, but Katsa with her violent grace is practically an outcast, forced to work as hitwoman for her uncle the King. CG staffer Rachel says in her staff pick, "That all changes when she meets Po, a Graced fighter, the only man to hold his own against her skill—but when Katsa and Po become embroiled in dark foreign secrets, even their Graces may not be enough to get them through alive." Katsa and her sci-fi counterpart Katniss (of Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games, another new title in our chapter book room -- stay tuned for a review!) are our favorite fantasy/sci-fi heroines since Sabriel and Lirael. And you know what high praise that is, coming from us! Kristin's hilarious blog is also great reading; you're probably as likely to lose several hours in her witty entries about her writing process as you are in Katsa's story.
We're ashamed to admit we've been looking at the gorgeous cover art since it came out -- and just realized Katsa's face, complete with one of her mismatched Graceling eyes, is reflected in her sword. Um... awesome design, right? So effective, yet so subtle!