Saturday, December 3, 2011

My Grace is Learning

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 that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone. 

-Summary from Goodreads

I love high-fantasy, I love strong heroines, and I love a story that makes me swoon.

But what I really love is a story that makes me think.

Graceling is original and thought-provoking, and truly, can anyone deny that Kristin Cashore has the grace for writing? 

Thank you to my friend Soph for forcing telling me to read Graceling. Katsa is this incredibly tough heroine with a heart, and her character grows so much throughout the story, I ached for her. She lived her whole life believing herself to be a killing machine. She thrived despite everyone's fearful, judgmental opinions about her. But in her heart she's just a girl who wants to be appreciated and recognized, and that vulnerability in her broke my heart a little.

I loved Po. I can't help, though, but compare Po to Peeta. Peeta complements Katniss like Po complements Katsa, but this book hypocritically can't really be compared to The Hunger Games, because even though they both involve cruel, inhumane tyrants, heart-breaking decisions, and aching romance, the message these books approach are met from different angles. Graceling is a tale of love and fighting and making the right choices, and Katsa can break. That's what I loved so much about this book. The protagonist can break, but even as she does she stands strong and fights because she cares so much about everyone else that slowly warmed their way into her heart (even if it isn't many people). And in her resilience we find hope, and in hope we find triumph.

This is an action-packed book laced with romance and tortuous dilemmas. This is a book that will stay with you long after you've finished it. This is the book about a girl who turns from the puppet to the puppeteer. 
The Reviews News

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