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…
I can only imagine how hard it is to come up with new & fresh material with so many awesome books out there. Although Katsa did remind me a lot of Katniss from the Hunger Games, both in name and personality, this story is entirely different. The whole idea of different colored eyes, and being “graced” with something special was new to me. Of course, I’m not terribly well read, but it seems like an original concept.
I liked watching the relationship between Katsa and Po grow. I liked how he didn’t expect her to change, that he encouraged her strengths and accepted her for who she was while at the same time encouraging her to be her best self. What I didn’t like about this book was the negative position it projected about marriage. This is touted as a Young Adult novel, but it’s not something I’d want my impressionable “young adults” to be reading. For one thing, the idea of taking a lover and it being an acceptable alternative to marriage is not one that I condone. Secondly, I don’t see that wanting to marry or to bear children makes a woman less independent or weak, which is the stance Katsa seems to take. There’s also a lot of cruelty and abuse discussed in these pages, and it’s not something, certainly, that I’d want my pre-teen reading.
Would I recommend this to fellow book lovers? Yes, but it wouldn’t be at the top of my recommendation list?
Would I recommend this to my teen daughter? No.
3.5 of 5 stars