From the back of the book:
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 Graces as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king's thug.Graceling was really fun to read! The characters are interesting and well-fleshed out and the plot was riveting.
When she first meets Prince Po, who is 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...
But - and I hate that there's a but - it left me feeling a like something was lacking. My expectations for Graceling were, I'll admit, a bit high. So maybe its not a surprise that the book didn't quite live up to my expectations. Don't get me wrong, I liked the book. But I kept thinking about how much Katsa reminded me other YA heroines (Katniss from The Hunger Games, in particular) and how much the story reminded me of other books (like the works of my girl Tamora Pierce or JRR Tolkien).
Let me be clear, I'm not saying that it felt like Cashore ripped anything off from these authors. It's just that Graceling didn't feel as fresh to me as I'd been hoping. Again, I think its more just a matter of how high my expectations were, not of any fault of the book.
In the end, Graceling is well worth the read. I don't think it really broke new ground in YA fantasy, but it was really entertaining. Fantasy fans of all ages will enjoy it.
Buy Graceling on Amazon.