Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
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. She never expects to fall in love with beautiful Prince Po. She never expects to learn the truth behind her Grace—or the terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone. With elegant, evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, debut author Kristin Cashore creates a mesmerizing world, a death-defying adventure, and a heart-racing romance that will consume you, hold you captive, and leave you wanting more.
One of the things I liked most about this book was that it wasn't predictable at all; While reading I coud imagine what the main story was about and what could happen next but what happened to the characters themselves, was a totally diferent case.
There's the story main line (the cause of the story) and then, the interactions between the character, so while the love's part was well developed, it was left in the background. I must mention too that sex is mentioned in the book, but nothing explicit.
The pace is constant, maybe a bit fast or slow at some point, but mostly it was well paced and easy to read.
The characters were well developed as well. Katsa is a lonely girl who has lived apart from everybody because of her scaring "grace". She accepts what the others think about her and feels they have reason. But Katsa doesn't want to be a a monster, so when, thanks to Po, she finds a new meaning for her "grace" she starts feeling better about herself.
Po, in the other hand, seems to be very proud about his "grace", but he hides a secret about it that can't be revealed. He tries and tries to make Katsa see she isn't as bad as she thinks and that love isn't a chain that imprisons.
Overall: Graceling was a very enjoyable read. An adventurous story about morals, principes and love.