Graceling by Kristin Cashore

In the realm of the Seven Kingdoms, those born with two different eye colors are deemed “Graced”, and possess an unnatural ability which surpasses that of anyone else. Katsa, niece to King Randa, is Graced with the ability to kill, and is ordered to use her Grace to bend the king’s people to his will. Katsa, with the help of Prince Po of a distant kingdom, must learn the true nature of her Grace so that she can maintain an independent identity, and not live in fear of her own power, controlled by others’ desires. 

I LOVED this book!! I was hooked at the premise: a world where people are “Graced” and have superior abilities? Sign me up. I kept thinking about what Grace I’d like to have – and those I wouldn’t want to have. Katsa is an awesome leading female character – strong, stubborn, funny, and she can fight better than any of the boys in the book. She reminded me a lot of Suzanne Collins’ Katniss, from The Hunger Games series – probably because her name is similar, and she’s also good with a bow…and has complicated relationships. However, this novel does not present a dystopian environment in which teens are forced to fight each other to the death — but it is action packed! Though it’s long, the book reads very quickly, (probably because of all the fighting!) and will leave you wanting more at the end. This is the first book in the Graceling Realm trilogy, although the other books are companion novels, not direct sequels (which made me sad because I wanted more of Katsa). I have not read the other two, but I certainly plan to – this first one was amazing!

Rating: 4.5/5

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here.

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