Katsa is a Graceling–a person with different colored that denote that she is a gift–a special power. Every Graceling has unique powers, and Katsa has a killing Grace, one that is used by her uncle the King of Middluns against people who anger him.
As an orphan, Katsa was already isolated, but when her killing Grace appears, she is isolated even further, as her Uncle trains her in fighting, to be his enforcer. This isolation makes Katsa even stranger than her Grace does, and I initially had a difficult time caring about her. But slowly, as we learn she is more than just her uncle’s enforcer, I became more and more invested in her survival and well-being.
At times, I found her reactions to those around her frustrating, but it became clear this was a drawback of her grace and her isolation, and that these reactions were actual reasonable. Which made me want her to succeed even more.
Although this is a YA fantasy, it’s also a romance, and I also liked the man she falls in love with very much. There is boinking, but it’s not descriptive, and would probably go over the heads of younger readers.
This book is a complete story arc, and I was somewhat disappointed to discover there is not currently another book about Katsa, which is the sign of a very good book to me.
Published by Harcourt Children's Books