I do love a good high fantasy book... Ah! This one has a twist!!
"In a world where people born with an extreme skill—called a Grace—are feared and exploited, Katsa carries the burden of the skill even she despises: the Grace of killing. She lives under the command of her uncle Randa, King of the Middluns, and is expected to execute his dirty work, punishing and torturing anyone who displeases him.
When she first meets Prince Po, who is 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...a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone."
So I've had this book for a while. It was given to me as part of a secret Santa holiday thing on her blog. And I am so glad that this is a book I got! This book had always been one I have seen on the shelf at the store, but always walking by it seeing something a little bit more shinier. I talked this up to be having a sever case of a book ADD.
Anyway, on to the review of this amazing book.
I classify this as high fantasy because of the world it is set in. Its all medieval wilderness, castles, conspiratorial kings and restless assassins. The magic element of this story however lies in those called Gracelings. The Gracelings are identified by having two different colored eyes. Each grace is different Graceling are seen as dangerous free that no one like but everyone fears.
This is especially true for our hero. Katsa is a fierce young woman who was cursed with an ability to kill. What I admire about Katsa is that she is completely honest with herself and what her uncle the King has made into: a thug and assassin. And she hates herself for it. She know she is the monster that everyone fears. However she does her best in forming a secret organization that help others.
However everything changes for her when she meets Po. We already know this from the synopsis on the back of the book. Po was a decent character. He was a good for foil to Katsa. He strong and was almost an equal match for her skills of fighting. He has a secret he does his best to keep it himself, but eventually but Katsa finds out who he really is. I think that is why the author made these two fall in love with each other. They were so alone in their Grace that there was no choice for them to get together.
The action scenes by the way are well crafted in that you are there experiencing these movements. Every bone that breaks, every bruise that is delivered, you know that Katsa's skill and talent is the one that is given a respectable amount of fear for good reason. The story move along quickly so I wasn't bored when there wasn't any action scenes. The in between scenes of action consisted of us watching our hero as she grows and learn to love herself. To know that her true talent was not to kill but to survive. And sometimes to survive you have to kill. There are a satisfying amount of twists and turns in the plot that were not foreseen which is a good thing I like to be left when at all. There's nothing worse than a predictable plot twist. I suggest this book for those who aren't you sure about high fantasy type writing. This genre can be very tedious to read due to the amount of the world building needed for us to understand the story that the characters live then. This story, however, does a great job world building that is evenly dispersed throughout the story and doesn't feel like giant information dumps that overwhelm the brain and can cause it to explode. Also its young adult as well so it should make the reading a little bit easier. I recommend this book, especially if you've seen it sitting in bookstores and just kinda walked by it thinking maybe next time. But go back and get it because trust me this book is amazing and you will not for regret picking it up. That's all for now thanks for your time in reading this blog post.
And remember always be yourself, unless you can be a pirate... Then always be the pirate!
(Take a look at that cover!!)