by Kristin Cashore
Published Oct. 1, 2008
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 . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.
* * *
This book easily found a place on my all-time favorites list. There are so many things I love about it, and every time I pick it up it remains fresh and exciting.
Katsa is such a strong, deep character and, let's face it, kicks some serious butt. Her grace is complicated, to the point where even she doesn't really understand it. She cares, almost too much, about those around her and isn't afraid to stand up for them.
I love the idea of graces. We all have talents, but graces are a whole other level. I want one. There are some wonderful traditions in this book. One of my favorites is the rings. Po wears a ring for each member of his family. Um, I also like Po's tattoos . . . just sayin'.
And, just an FYI, the third book in the series, Bitterblue, will be out May 1, 2012. I can't wait!