Feared by the court and shunned by those her own age, the darkness of her Grace casts a heavy shadow over Katsa's life. Yet she remains defiant: when the King of Lienid's father is kidnapped she investigates and stumbles across a mystery. Who would want to kidnap the old man, and why? And who was the extraordinary Graced man whose fighting abilities rivalled her own?
The only thing Katsa is sure of is that she no longer wants to kill. The intrigue around this kidnapping offers her a way out - but little does she realise, when she takes is, that something insidious and dark lurks behind the mystery. Something spreading from the shadowy figure of a one eyed king... - From the back of the book.
I read Graceling because it was recommended to me by a friend. It had always been on my 'To Buy' list, but every time I went book shopping, I picked it up, and put it back again. I don't know why that was, it just was. And, now, having read it, I'm very glad that said friend recommended it.
Katsa is a very strong female lead, in more ways than one. She's feisty, and she stands up for herself. She has a Grace for killing, and she hates it. She's being used by the king to do his dirty work, and she hates it. So, after being sent on a mission to force a lord to sell one of his daughters off for marriage, she refuses. She leaves him unharmed, and the king is furious. But Katsa has never felt better.
Cashore is an amazing writer. She describes things beautifully, so you get a very vivid picture in your head of what is happening, where and when, and the whole book just plays like a movie inside your head. The author also writes emotion extremely well, and all the characters emotions rub off on the reader, and you can't help but feel happy when they're happy, and angry when they are too.
Po, Katsa's love interest, is calming and charming. He calms down Katsa, therefore calming the reader, and, though Katsa can rescue herself physically, she still needs a man to rescue her emotionally, and Po is that man. He really helped Katsa to grow as a character, and by the end of the book, because of Po, I much preferred Katsa as a character. She was more relaxed and calm, and she was happy.
There is a lot that happens in this book. There is adventure, mystery, a little romance, betrayal, intrigue, and loads more, packed into 370 pages. It's fast paced, and you can't stop reading. You just get lost in the world of The Seven Kingdoms, and it's difficult to leave. There is so much culture connected to the world Katsa and Po live in, that it feels like a place you could actually visit, it feels so real.
I would definitely recommend Graceling, especially for people looking for something a little different. Unlike all the popular books going round at the moment, it doesn't have vampires, or werewolves, or fearies, or any other mythical creature that there may be out there. Graceling is unique, and will be loved by everyone, teens and adults alike.
I give it 5 Feet!