Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Graced By You

Published:  October 1st, 2008
Graceling (Graceling Realm # 1)
By: Kristin Cashore
ISBN-13:  9780152063962

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 shedespises: 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.


     Katsa is the niece of King Randa of the Middluns, but she is also his most valuable asset.  In a world where certain people are born with gifts, she is blessed with the grace (ability) to kill things.  Katsa is expected to be her Uncle's hired assassin and just gather him money and get rid of his 'enemies' without question.  Then she decides to let a man go and with the help of her cousin Raffin,  Katsa and some others put together a council and to help undermine the tyranny of the King.  Meeting up  with Prince Po in another city's dungeon, he and Katsa grow closer together, while looking for his kidnapped Grandfather and fighting their way to Monsea to save his cousin and her daughter from what appears to be an extremely deadly fate.  Can Po and Katsa work together and save his family from a fate worse than death?  I was expecting to fall in love with this the same way I did the Tamora Pierce books when I was lots younger.  I love me some high fantasy after all!  However, it took me four or five chapters to even get into the story and even after then, I never fell in love with it or the characters.  I was impressed with all of the world-building though.  It was an extremely complex and interwoven world of people and places.  It almost reminded me of the complexity of Game of Thrones, only on a YA scale.  I will echo some of the same complaints as other readers though - Katsa is TOO hard to empathize with!  She is threatened by any sense of femininity at all and loves to stress that point any way she can at all times.  Throughout the entire book, she acts very cocky and self-indulgent.  Making it a point not to listen to anyone Katsa annoyed the heck out of me most of the time.  Her and Po's romance was extremely cliched and I was smiling (albeit halfheartedly) when the end rolled around.  Looking forward to reading the next one when it gets released, but this is not one I will revisit a lot, if ever. 

VERDICT:  3.5/5  Stars

**No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book is now available in stores, online, or maybe even at your local library.*

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