Friday, October 12, 2012

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

5 Stars
A graceling is someone who is born with or develops eyes that are two different colors.  Being a graceling means that person will possess some extraordinary talent.  Throughout the book we are introduced into the wide array that graces can take.  But just for example, it could be swimming, mind reading, telling the weather, or fighting (or many others).    

At the start, Katsa, is on a mission to rescue a Lienid prince from the dungeons of another king.  Katsa takes out 18 guards single handedly and the rest of her crew grab the prince as they make their getaway.  Katsa runs into another  Lienid on the way out.  They race back to their own nation with their stolen prince before Katsa’s king will notice she is gone and Katsa wonders if she was wrong to have let the other lienid live. 
On one hand Katsa is the strong arm of King Randa, forced to do his dirty work against people who might only disagree with him.  On the other hand, Katsa is the founder and leader of a group called The Council.  The Council works throughout all seven kingdoms to right injustices.  Katsa’s grace is killing and she feels she is a monster.  We see her transformation throughout the book, but the following quote shows her thought process as she starts to rethink being under King Randa’s control:
“Katsa didn’t think a person should thank her for not causing pain.  Causing joy was worthy of thanks, and causing pain worthy of disgust.  Causing neither was neither, it was nothing, and nothing didn’t warrant thanks.”
Katsa has met her match in Po, the lienid she met at the beginning.  He is graced in fighting and is the best competition that she has in fighting.  They practice together and grow to be friends.  Katsa agrees to go with Po to uncover the plot to kidnap his grandfather.  The plot is so much more dangerous than they could have imagined as Katsa’s grace cannot help them.  She if forced to flee from the first adversary she can’t best. 

This story was fast paced and never boring.  I liked watching the friendship grow between Katsa and Po.  It was so sad in places I almost cried.  Katsa grows so much as a person.  I absolutely loved her.  Usually the heroine will annoy me at some point, but Katsa never did.  She did make me laugh though.  I do wish she would reconsider her pledge to never marry.
My only regret is my stupid book allowance won’t let me buy the next book in the series until November (boo to husbands who thinks that food and electricity are more important than books!) 

Favorite Quote:
Katsa practically spit back at him.  “Do you imagine that I need a guard to protect them from the soldiers of Monsea?”
“No,” Ror snapped.  “I have no doubt that you are more than capable of bringing the Monsean queen and my son and the rest of my sons and a hundred Nanderan kittens through an onslaught of howling raiders if you chose.”

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