My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a book that came in under the radar with me. I picked it up mainly because it’s in my library’s Discoveries collection. It didn’t disappoint–especially for a first time author. The book takes place in a standard medieval fantasy world, with the exception of a select number of people called Gracelings. Basically, they each have been born with an enhanced talent, whether it’s swimming or climbing or–in Katsa’s case–killing. She’s a royal who becomes the assassin to the king, more or less. The only trouble is, she doesn’t like the jobs the king’s sending her to do.
It’s more complicated than that, of course, but that’s the basic set up. Where Cashore really excels is in bringing her world to life. I felt like the people’s reaction to Gracelings was very well done–the implications of the magic system were well thought out. It’s much more of a “girl’s fantasy” than I usually read, however–by which I mean romance plays a large part in the plot. That said, I still had a great time reading. I just wouldn’t recommend it to a reluctant teen boy reader. 🙂