Graceling, by Kristin Cashore
All her life, the young Lady Katsa has been legendary, and feared. She’s Graced. Born with supernatural skills, her kind are regularly exploited as royal servants. Katsa’s Grace gives her the endurance, speed, and instincts to outmatch a whole group of fighters. So when someone offends King Randa, he sends Katsa to torture or kill them. But life as the king’s pet thug is miserable. Soon, Katsa’s sneaking out, fighting at night to dismantle the oppression she enforces by day.
Then she meets Prince Po, another Graced fighter. Po is the first person to empathize with Katsa’s Grace, the first beyond a few childhood companions to become her true friend. And Po is on a quest, seeking justice of his own. Together, Po and Katsa uncover a growing threat to the kingdoms, one that requires extraordinary people to thwart it.
This is a jolly good book, packed with intrigue and danger. Katsa and Po face exciting challenges and a wonderfully dreadful foe. Their awesome powers let the reader vicariously thrash villains and navigate insurmountable obstacles, guilt-free. And over the course of the tale, Katsa undertakes a nuanced journey of personal development, discovering the true nature of her Grace, the issues that matter to her, and the person she hopes to be. Top-notch stuff!
The 213 in 2013 series chronicles every book I read in 2013. Each review contains exactly 213 words, because 2013 words is too long and 2013 characters is too dang short.
One year ago today: Spreading Holiday Cheer Merry Christmas to all!