Adventure · Fantasy · Young Adult books

Graceling, Graceling book 1, by Kristen Cashore

A minority of people are gifted with special abilities that are marked by mismatched eyes, these are known as the Graced. They are treated with disdain, fear and hate. Used as servants and weapons they belong to their King, having little to no freedom of their own. The seven kings are often at war with each other using Gracelings gifted with great fighting skills as their swords. The main character Katsa is one such Graceling serving her uncle King Randa. Unfortunately for her, she is gifted with the ability to kill, hence making her feared by all and used as her uncle’s own personal thug.

Katsa uses her gifts for good as well; secretly creating a Council that aims to protecting the average person from the idiocy of the seven kings. She rescues the father of the Lienid king taking the interest of Prince Po from Lienid. Po is also a Graceling gifted with fighting and has one silver and one gold eye. Together they escape Katsa’s uncle, searching for the truth of why the grandfather was kidnapped. However, they get more than they bargained for; discovering horrible secrets about Po’s family, the Graced and the royalty of a neighbouring kingdom.

I loved the strong female character of Katsa. She is a woman who can defend herself and those she loves, survive pretty much anything and kicking butt while doing so! Bitterblue, a young princess is also a strong girl who survives a lot of physical and emotional difficulties.

It was a bit slow in the middle but the end had a good twist. It was written well with good development of the main characters, Graced abilities and the world they live in.

I like this book even if it was a little slow at times. I give it 7/10.

Happy reading!

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