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.Graceling is another one of those books that makes writing reviews difficult because you can’t seem to find the words to appropriately sum up your love for it. This book was simply incredible; an action-packed fantasy adventure with a heartfelt romance and kick-ass characters.
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 . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.
Katsa is so strong and independent that it’s easy to quickly love and respect her. Growing up in a kingdom with an uncle that prisons her and forces her to use her Grace to torture/kill, she still has her beliefs and dignity in tact, even if she can be stubborn at times. Those beliefs are questioned when she meets Po, a Graceling prince, but Po … *dreamy sigh* Po is so sweet and understanding that he inadvertently softens her. And it’s so admirable that their relationship slowly develops. So many novels make a leap into the romance so hastily, but Cashore leaves us absolutely begging for a first kiss between the two.
Even the smaller details and characters of the book contribute to the greatness; Bitterblue, Raffin and Oll, the side characters in Katsa and Po’s life, aren’t in the novel for very long, but it’s enough to make you fall in love with them. And the carefully designed Seven Kingdoms and the personalities of the kings that rule them make the book seem so authentic.
Overall, Graceling is a fantastic tale of love, freedom, self-control and self-discovery. It was epic and heartwarming and just - gah - so good. If you’re like me and have dragged your feet at picking this one up, take my word for it and run to the bookstore to get yourself a copy! You won’t be disappointed!
Other reviews for Graceling:
The Hiding Spot.
The Book Cellar.
Harmony's Radiant Reads.
WORD For Teens.