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 . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
In the Seven Kingdoms, there is a gifted group of people called gracelings. They are a people with 2 eye colors, and they are extremely rare. Katsa discovers that she is a graceling when she kills someone at the age of 8. Since then, she is hand of justice for her uncle the King. She feels like an outcast and a monster, but all of those feelings changes for her when she meets Prince Po, another graceling. It is with him, that she discovers the truth about her grace, and together they fight against a force so evil that it could destroy the Seven kingdoms.
In the first of the Seven Kingdoms Series, we meet Katsa, a strong girl graced with a gift that kills. She doesn’t like it, but she feels trapped by her gift, unable to love or be loved by her family as there is always that fear of killing them accidently. It is only after Po comes into her life that she even considers that she could have a “normal” life, one with family and friends.
Po’s character is really one of my favorites. His grace isn’t all that it seems, but he doesn’t let it hold him back from living his life to the fullest. His commitment to family and his desire to protect the people he cares for makes him that much sexier in my opinion. There are, of course, some flaws in Po – His pride being the biggest.
Also, the villain of this novel… Ugh, gives me the shivers just thinking about him. The absolute power corrupts absolutely kept running through my head as I read about him. His role in how the whole Seven Kingdoms was in danger of his rule was an amazing way to set up an ideal dystopian society.
I really enjoyed the twists that Ms. Cashore put towards the graces. Not every grace is as clean cut and definable as everyone thinks. Katsa’s gift isn’t what it seems to be, but then again, neither is Po’s. The play off of their graces was a great way to really understand the wide variety of the graces and how they can shape a person.
I highly recommend this book, and can’t wait to see what else Ms. Cashore has in store for the Seven Kingdoms.