Last year, a friend of mine told me that I needed to read Graceling by Kristin Cashore. For many, many reasons, I didn’t pick up this book until about a week ago. I wish I had read it sooner. This was a phenomenal book, and I absolutely loved it. It appealed to me as a fantasy reader and as a feminist. Katsa, the main character, is a strong female–something sadly lacking in a lot of young adult literature. I highly recommend this book!
Katsa is Graced. The Graced have skills beyond those of normal people, and Katsa is Graced as a killer. Her uncle, King Randa, uses her as his thug for hire. She is feared throughout the seven kingdoms, but Katsa is struggling with the weight of guilt she bears for the acts committed on behalf of the king. She, and a few trusted associates, do whatever they must to thwart orders and acts that they deem unjust or evil. During a mission to rescue a kidnapped royal, Katsa encounters another Graceling, one who is Graced with fighting (or so it seems). He is the only person she’s ever met who can come close to matching her in a fight. She again sees him in King Randa’s court after her successful rescue mission, and she knows he’s connected to the man they rescued. He is the man’s grandson, Prince Po of Leinid. He and Katsa form a frienship of sorts and begin to train together as they attempt to discover who would attempt to kidnap his grandfather.
After King Randa orders Katsa to carry out a truly heinous task, Katsa refuses. She stands up to King Randa and leaves his court (but not before letting him know how she’ll kill every single person around her if he so much as thinks of trying to stop her). Katsa and Po leave Randa City in search of answers. Who kidnapped Po’s grandfather? Why? The answers will surprise them, as will the discoveries they make about their own Graces. Things are not always as they appear to be. As Katsa and Po grow closer together, it seems the answers they seek are driving them further apart. Is Katsa strong enough to survive the quest before her and still keep control over her own life? Read Graceling by Kristin Cashore to find out.
I don’t feel like this post has done justice to this amazing book. Mere words cannot express how much I enjoyed it. If you like The Hunger Games, The Silenced, X-Men, or any books with strong, kick-butt female characters, Graceling may be just what you’re looking for.