Title : Graceling
Author : Kristin Cashore
Publisher : Harcourt
Pages : 471
Publication Date : October 1st, 2008
Stand Alone or Series : #1 in the Graceling Realm series
Three Words : fantasy, YA, lady assassin
Red Flags : some violence, mild sexuality (appropriate for older adolescents)
Summary : Katsa is Graced. In her world, some people are born with special abilities (called Graces) The Grace gives them special powers – the ability to read minds, to swim like a fish or the ability to make beautiful music. Katsa hates her Grace – the Grace of killing. She is under the command of her uncle, King Randa and he expects her to do his dirty work – threatening wayward subjects with torture or death. Katsa has decided to use her powers for good when possible but it must be done behind her uncle’s back. While out on a mission to rescue a stolen royal, she meets a young Graced prince. Prince Po is Graced with fighting skills. When he shows up at the court of King Randa they decide to train together in order to become better fighters. But something unexpected and new happens to Katsa; she makes a friend. Together they will try to figure out the secret of why somebody has kidnapped Po’s grandfather – it is a dangerous secret that affects all the seven kingdoms.
My Take : Love, Love, Love!! This was such a fun book and I was kinda disappointed that I hadn’t heard of it before. Katsa is such an interesting character. She actually reminds me a little bit of Katniss Everdeen – hardboiled, practical but somewhat naive in relationships. She relies on herself and she is a strong woman…so delightful. That doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have doubts or bad moments. But it is the tension between your good and bad self that makes for an interesting character.
The relationship between Po and Katsa is believable and interesting. They are friends – they talk about their lives, have fun together, etc… I really liked seeing a man and woman have a great friendship. It is obvious to me that Cashore has respect for the many sides of both genders.
Cashore is just a beautiful writer. She brought this new world to life for me. I loved the characters both on the bad and good side. I cannot wait to find out how this all ends up. I give this book nine shoes!
Has anybody else read this series? What did you think?
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