Katsa is Graced: a special and extreme talent. Unfortunately, her Grace is to kill. She has suffered her whole life for it, constantly pressuring herself to get herself under perfect control, while having to work as a common thug and contract killer for her uncle, King Randa.
But Katsa sees the injustices in the kingdoms around her and decides that she can atone for her Grace by setting some things right. Therefore she forms a council that works for the people.
But when Katsa and the council rescue an old man who has been kidnapped and Katsa meets another Graceling, a fighter, she soon has to see that something is really very wrong in her world.
I totally and completely loved Graceling*. Katsa is a great protagonist, the story is interesting and kept me engaged all the time and the book not only made me laugh, it also made me cry.
Okay, so the blurb says that this book will slake the romance thirst of Twilight fans or something like that (I don’t know exactly since I borrowed the book to deadra, so I don’t have it with me right now). To that I can only say: HA! I mean a) there’s actual, believable, cute romance in this book and b) there’s actual, believable, cute characters in this book and c) Katsa kicks ass. So, Graceling is probably the best antidote ever to reading Twilight.
Anyway, the pacing of the book is pitch-perfect: It starts out slow, pulls you into the world and suddenly you just can’t read fast enough to keep up with the plot and then there’s the ending and *sob*. I started reading it one evening, went to sleep, got on a train, got off the train 8 hours later after having read non-stop, went home and finished the last 30 pages or so of the book. It was that good.
As I said before, Katsa is great. She makes her decisions, she sticks to them and she always tries to do her best. But Cashore really has a gift to draw characters – Po is that well written that I didn’t think once of the teletubby. Raffin and Bann have their own backstory in my head. And Bitterblue is awesome.
Okay, I’m gushing, so I’ll cut this short. If you like fantasy, romance and/or great characters in a great story, you have to read this book.
*How great is it that I read two books in a row that I totally loved and how sad is it that it’s remarkable?