I’ve been eyeing Graceling by Kristin Cashore for a while, because I love the cover. I finally got around to picking it up yesterday, and it was definitely worth the read. The premise is that in the world of Graceling, there are individuals with what are called “graces”, skills of supernatural intensity. The skills can be anything from cooking to fighting to climbing trees, and the individuals who possess them are identifiable by having eyes of two different colours. Gracelings can be useful, but are also feared and generally friendless. Katsa, whose grace is killing, is feared more than most, and is also struggling with her role as an unwilling assassin for her uncle, the king.
What the book is really about is realizing that you don’t have to let others define you – you can define yourself. That you have more power than you think. Also it is about really awesome fighting sequences, and kicking evil butt.
The writing is good, the romance is unconventional, and the villain even more so. Highly recommended for fantasy fans of all ages, I will be picking up the other two in the series immediately. May cause a desire to learn martial arts. Will likely cause missed bedtimes and ignoring of family members. Bring food and drink with you, because you won’t be getting up for a while.