Graceling by Kristin Cashore
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 hiddne far away...
Wow. This book is fast-paced and brilliant. Right away I knew this was a book I was going to love.
Graceling is a fantasy book that takes place in a fantasy world. There are seven kingdoms: Nander, Wester, Lienid, Monsea, Middluns, Estill, and Sunder. The main character is a teenage girl named Katsa who is the niece of the king of Middluns. She is Graced. A Grace is a skill that some children develop as the grow which makes them an expert at a certain skill. Some are pointless and some are exceedingly useful. Katsa's grace is fighting. She can kill with her hands, bow and arrow, and knives. Katsa can take on a group of soldiers surounding her, all armed and protected with shields and armour, and can come out alive with only a few scratches. She has a strong personality with endless energy and amazing strength in her spirit and mind. She is an amazing girl who has never really had a friend before, except for the king's son Raffin. When Katsa meets Po, a Lienid prince, they instantly become friends. He has a Grace for combat skills and he is the only person who has ever been a challenge for Katsa to fight. As they set out on an adventure and meet Bitterblue and her father King Leck, you will find yourself on the edge of your seat, amazed at what Katsa can do.
Overall Graceling was one of the best books I've read in a long time. One complaint though, is that it never exactly states her age. At the begining of the book, it says something about her being eleven-years old, but some of the things that happen in the book are impossible for an eleven year-old, and highly unbelievable that an eleven would do some things. Other sources I've checked have stated that she is eighteen and sixteen. Ultimately, her age is uncertain. One other thing, is that I think she and Po's relationship changed awfully fast. It was a sudden decision that she liked him and then they were instantly in love. Maybe it's this way for some people, but for me it was unrealistic.
Overall rating: 4 stars