Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Series: Graceling Realms #1
Katsa is the niece of King Randa, one of the seven kings that rule the land. She's also Graced, meaning that like a few special people, she has an incredible talent. In some, it is amazing swimming skills or cooking expertise. Hers is killing. Randa uses his lady killer to do his dirty work, and much as she hates it, Katsa feels trapped. Until she meets Po, and everything changes.
This book is a perfect fantasy novel.
Everything is fantastic- the world building, the Graces, the romance, the action... just everything. It had me completely immersed by the end of the first paragraph, and I just wanted to keep reading for hours. The characters are all so fleshed-out, and the politics within the kingdom so believable, and the idea of the Council utterly intriguing.
Of course, I loved Katsa. She's powerful, independent, and gruff, and the growth she displays is natural and flawlessly done. As for Katsa and Po's relationship, I was enchanted by their friendship and their romance. It's uplifting and heartbreaking all at the same time. The things Graceling did to my emotions at times- I'd be smiling at one of Po's quips in one chapter and getting choked up the next.
I just want more- not because there isn't enough to this story, far from it, but because it is so good that I need the next book pronto! (I'm exercising impressive self-control by not running out to the library or Barnes and Noble this instant).
A Quote from the Book: “How absurd it was that in all seven kingdoms, the weakest and most vulnerable of people - girls, women - went unarmed and were taught nothing of fighting, while the strong were trained to the highest reaches of their skill.”
If you had a Grace, what would it be?