Category: YA Novel (Teen)
Synopsis: (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 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…
Review: This is a great book and it’s one I have had on my shelves to read for a while and I am so happy I finally did. I also have the other two in this series and I am really excited to dive in to those as well.
Katsa is a really strong female lead character. She starts off being a “strong-arm” for her uncle who is a king in one of the kingdoms. She doesn’t like it but she knows nothing else. Than she meets PO who is looking for his grandfather who has been kidnapped.
Katsa is a “graceling” which I think is a great concept for the book. Each person is identified by with unique two eye colours and each person is “graced” with something like cooking skills, fighting skills, swimming skills ect. This worked well with this book and was it brought up things like what to do when you are technically a minority where you live and people treat and look at you differently. There was people who were great to Katsa but you could see how she was shaped because of how she had been treated in her life thus far.
There is lots of action and adventure and some situations which leave you going “wtf just happened” but in a good way. It’s great to see the development of each character throughout the story and you really get to feel like you get to know the characters and root for them when they get in their situations.
There is a little bit of sex in the book, it’s not descriptive but it’s there. So for younger teens with the sex talk and the killing it might not be a good book to start them on if they are moving up in reading. For older teens and adults it’s a great book. It is thick so it’s not a fast read but trust me it’s worth it.
My only downfall, the half a point I took off, was because there was a few holes in the story. When she is traveling with Bitterblue apparently it happens over a matter of months…where it was not written like that and so when that came to light I was a little confused.
Otherwise it’s a great story and good teen fiction in a rich fantsey land.