Graceling by Kristin Cashore is a fantasy novel which tells the story of a girl named Katsa. Katsa lives within one of the seven kingdoms and is a Graceling. This means she was born with a special ability that she excels at – in her case killing. The Graced are feared by the people, for their extraordinary abilities and can be easily recognised as their eyes are two different colours.
This book tells the story of Katsa’s journey of survival and self-discovery.
In a world where people born with an exceptional skill, known as a Grace, are both feared and exploited, Katsa carries the burden of a skill even she despises: the Grace of killing.
Feared by the court and shunned by those her own age, the darkness of her Grace casts a heavy shadow over Katas’s life. Yet she remains defiant: when the King of Lienid’s father is kidnapped she investigates, and stumbles across a mystery. Who would want to kidnap the old man, and why? And who was the extraordinary Graced man whose fighting abilities rivalled her own?
The only thing Katsa is sure of is that she no longer wants to kill. The intrigue around the kidnapping offers her a way out – but little does she realise, when she takes it, that something insidious and dark lurks behind the mystery. Something spreading from the shadowy figure of a one-eyed king…
I loved this book. I don’t read a lot of fantasy but had heard so many good things about this book I had to give it a try, and I am so glad I did.
Cashore creates a world of kingdoms and characters that I was really sad to say goodbye to when the book ended. The characters of Katsa, Po and Bitterblue are all very likable and engaging. The mystery in this book was so good that I just had to see how it ended and the “big bad” is really a creepy, evil guy… but very interesting.
Cashore did such a good job of writing a well thought out, fun and emotionally gripping read. I can’t wait to see how Fire and Bitterblue (hurry up!!) measure up.
I have also learned that if you ever have a daughter, and want her to be strong-willed and a survivor, give her a named that can be shortened to Kat (Katsa… Katniss…) well, it’s that or Bitterblue!
If you like this book you may also like: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Graceling is the chosen book for the Books that Bite Book club, January meeting! Head over there now to sign up and join the discussion on this fantastic novel!