Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Retro read: 'Graceling' by Kristin Cashore

Katsa is a Graceling, one of the rare people in her realm who was born with a Grace that makes them more than ordinary, makes them a master of whatever skill they are Graced with.  Some are Graced with cooking, or singing, or swimming - but Katsa is Graced with killing.  After the death of her parents Katsa lives with her uncle, King Randa, but she would have belonged to him anyway because all of the Graced belong to the King.  

It would not be so bad if King Randa was a kind or compassionate king, but he is neither - King Randa is a tyrant who rules his land with an iron fist and sends his Graceling to make sure people do exactly what he wants.  Since she was a child Katsa has lived and breathed fighting and death, and she has broken bones and killed men at the whim of her king.  The only thing that helps to keep her sane is the secret Council that helps her rescue people when she can, a Council that must remain secret at all cost.

When Katsa completes a mission for the Council she has no idea that she is about to be set on a journey that will turn her entire world upside down and inside out.  Katsa is used to being alone and untouched, used to being treated with fear and distrust - she is not used to being treated as an equal.  When she crosses paths with Price Po Katsa has no idea that she is about to shake off her shackles and step out into the world alone - but taking that first step will change her destiny forever.

Graceling is an epic coming of age story set against a backdrop of magic, conspiracies, and greed.  For most of her life Katsa has been defined by her Grace, but as she travels on her quest she discovers that there is more to a life than the fate you are born with, their is also the fate you decide for yourself.  Katsa's story is one you will want to revisit from time to time, to reconnect with old friends and relive the journey as she discovers that she is not a dog chained to her King, she is a person who can (and will) decide her own future.

Title: Graceling
Author: Kristin Cashore
ISBN: 9780547258300
Published: 2008
Publisher: Harcourt

- Em, Central City Library

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