Books for Younguns, Young Adults and the Young-at-Heart

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Graceling

In the land of the seven kingdoms, when a child's eyes turn to two different colors, it marks them as a Graceling--someone with a superhuman skill that will soon manifest itself.  Katsa has known her grace is killing since she was a little girl.  When a member of one of the kingdoms' royal families is kidnapped, she teams up with the Prince Po, determined to use her grace for good.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore is the first book in the Seven Kingdoms series.

This is a compelling story for fans of fantasy, but it's not so steeped in the genre to turn off others.  The kingdoms have a medeval feel, but the only mystical aspect is the presence of graces.  These are especially interesting for the ways each grace affects its host differently, even if they are similar in nature.  Katsa's journey of self-discovery in the face of a power that drives her (or rather, causes other to drive her) to do terrible things is believable and relatable.  She begins to build relationships the reader is invested in and certainly serves as a worthy female role model.  This story also contains one of the most viscerally unpleasant villains I recall reading.  To say too much more would be unfair to those who haven't read yet, but Cashore's introduction to him or her is masterful in the way it aligns the feelings of the reader with those of the other characters.

Graceling is published by Graphia and retails for $9.99 (paperback).  I got my complimentary copy from the publisher (although this review was not solicited or otherwise compensated).  You can get yours at Left Bank Books today!

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