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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...
My mom has been listening to audiobooks lately, and she got to this one before I did and fell into the habit of texting me "GRACELING!!!" whenever it was good.
So obviously, I had to read it.
Graceling is set in a world with kinds and queens and people who are Graced -- skilled at something or another. It could be something like swimming or something like fighting. Or, in Katsa's case, killing.
I loved Graceling because it was full of action, but honest and emotional too. Katsa has always just accepted everyone else's opinion of her as truth. When Po comes into her life -- a Graced prince from a land where Graced people are not shunned, as they are in Katsa's -- and is not afraid of her, she begins to see a different picture of who she is -- who she can be. Through her subsequent adventures, Katsa journeys to finding herself, to figuring out what her Grace really means, and who she can be.
There are also some fabulous characters in Graceling. Katsa's cousin and his bff, Po, and Po's cousin Bitterblue are some of my favorites. Bitterblue is actually pretty BA. As is Katsa (funny how her name is so similar to another fave literary badass, Katniss).
The one thing I didn't love about Graceling (SEMI SPOILER AHEAD BUT NOT REALLY TOO BAD OF A SPOILER) is that the climax of the story happens so fast. But I felt like the whole book built up to something that was over like that. And then, oddly, a lot more stuff happens, and the book keeps going on and on. None of it was bad. But it was weird.
Overall, I do recommend Graceling! I gave it four stars.
Have any of you read Graceling? What did you think?