Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Cover Image from Kristin Cashore
Source of my copy: borrowed from my local public library
Synopsis (from Harcourt)
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 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.
She never expects to fall in love with beautiful Prince Po.
She never expects to learn the truth behind her Grace—or the terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.
With elegant, evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, debut author Kristin Cashore creates a mesmerizing world, a death-defying adventure, and a heart-racing romance that will consume you, hold you captive, and leave you wanting more.Michelle's Review:
I was a little unsure about this book when I first started reading it. This book is the author's debut book and it shows in the first couple of chapters. But as the story went on the writing got much, much better and lost that awkwardness altogether. This book reminded of the old Tamora Pierce books (Alanna: The First Adventure, In the Hand of the Goddess) that I loved so much when I was in middle school and devoured one after the other--this book had that same feel to it and I loved every minute reading it.
Katsa, our heroine, began as gruff young woman who was afraid to get close to anyone in friendship in fear that she might accidentally kill them. Katsa was, in all effects, indestructible and possesses a "special" (also called a Grace) skill of deadly combat. From an early age, she had been under her king uncle's control acting as his deadly "weapon," ordered to kill anyone who displeased him. Then, Katsa found her match in Po (who was also Graced), who pretty much was the catalyst in her decision not to let her uncle control her anymore. Together they went on this grand adventure to find out who tried to kidnap Po's grandfather and ended up uncovering something bigger and a lot more disturbing than a mere kidnapping.
This book is well-written, the world building excellent and has a cast of characters readers can root for. The change in Katsa from being half wild and her uncle's dog to an independent, strong woman was a great read. I also enjoyed reading the romance between her and Po. However, the fight scene I was expecting from Katsa and Po against their biggest enemy was a let down and the ending kind of dragged a little too. All in all, though, this book was filled with enough action, fantasy, adventure and romance. I highly recommend this book and give it 4.90 stars out of 5.
**Disclaimer: I borrowed this book from my local library. My review was based on MY own experiences with the book and only share my honest, unbiased opinions. I am NOT promoting or discouraging anyone from purchasing and reading this book--whether I liked or disliked it. PLEASE use this blog only as a source and not the definite answer to your inquiries.**