Graceling by Kristin Cashore

A few months ago, i started to read Graceling, got a few pages in, put it down, and never went back. I kept reading reviews that were falling over themselves for the book and I really didn’t get it. I wanted to get it- believe me! I was starting to feel left out!

Earlier this week I picked Graceling up again. This time, I started reading and couldn’t put it down. I was completely pulled into Po and Katsa’s world. I wanted to be Katsa! I don’t know what changed in those few months, but this time Graceling was the book for me! And now I finally know what everyone is talking about!

Katsa is a warrior-girl  with one blue eye and one green eye. She is striking and gorgeous, but this also marks her as a Graceling. Gracelings are beings with special talents—mindreading, dancing, foreseeing weather conditions. Katsa’s Grace is considered more useful: her ability to fight and kill is unequaled in the seven kingdoms of her world. Forced to act as a bully and brute, a hitman for all intents, for a her uncle the king, Katsa channels her guilt by forming a secret council of like-minded citizens who carry out secret missions to promote justice over cruelty and abuses of power.  When she meets her match, another Graceling, she begins to discover who and what she really is.

This is a gorgeous romance set amid a fantastic fantasy.  Cashore has given birth to a new world within these seven kingdoms, and the romance between Po and Katsa will leave your heart racing.  The characters are all fully realized, the setting will have you yearning to visit, and the action will keep you on the edge of your seat.  Thank goodness this is the first in a series!  

(This is  great read for teens and adults.  I’m not sure if I will put it in my classroom library yet, as Katsa does have a sexual relationship.  It’s extremely tasteful, not graphic at all (and honestly, I’m not sure if most middle graders would even realize it)).