Author: Kristin Cashore
Series: Graceling Realm#1
Publisher: Harcourt Children’s Books / Graphia
Pub. Date: 2008
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, YA, Romance
From Goodreads: Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight — she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme, and in her case horrifying, skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug. When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.
She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace — or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away… a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.
My Reveries and Ramblings: A Graceling is a person born with a magnified skill. Gracelings, who have two different colored eyes, are considered property of the King. Katsa, a Graceling, is used by her uncle, the King, as a killing machine. She doesn’t like killing or violence and only uses her Grace if there is no other option. During a rescue mission, she meets and fights Po-the only person who ever put up a challenge for her. After knocking him out, Katsa resumes her mission, only to meet Po again when she returns. Both set out to solve the mystery surrounding the kidnapping and rescue.
I liked this book. I loved the world and the whole concept of Graces. I really wanted to love the book, but there were a few things that I just didn’t like. They mostly revolved around the ending. I just didn’t like it. What I did like was the suspense and how Katsa was strong and independent. I liked Katsa and Po’s relationship and how their personalities complemented each other. Leck creeped me out-as he should. Bitterblue reminded me of my niece. I liked how Katsa felt almost maternal towards Bitterblue. Overall, it was a good read. I give it 3/5.