Monday, September 6, 2010

Book Review: Graceling, by Kristin Cashore

This book has been on my reading list for a number of months now.
I wish I hadn't waited so long!

First line: In these dungeons the darkness was complete, but Katsa had a map in her mind.

In the land Katsa lives in there are certain people who are Graced with special skills. Katsa was born with a Grace that set her apart at an early age as a weapon for the king to use - for hers is a killing Grace. She can kill a man with her bare hands and is faster and more skilled at combat than anyone she has ever come across - until she meets Prince Po.

There are many things Katsa never expected: she never expected that she and Po could become good friends, she never expected to discover something new about the Grace she always thought she understood, and she never expected that she might meet a threat one day that she couldn't protect herself from...

The gender roles in this story are somewhat reversed: Katsa can kick some serious butt while hardly breaking a sweat, and Po, unlike many men, is completely unthreatened by this! It was refreshing to read a book with such a strong, independent and self-sufficient heroine.