Discover the Graceling Realm in this unforgettable, award-winning novel from bestselling author Kristin CashoreA New York Times bestseller
ALA Best Book for Young Adults
Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature Winner
Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Booklist, and BCCB Best Book of the Year "Rageful, exhilarating, wistful in turns" (The New York Times Book Review) with "a knee weakening romance" (LA Times). Graceling is a thrilling, action-packed fantasy adventure that will resonate deeply with anyone trying to find their way in the world. Graceling tells the story of the vulnerable-yet-strong Katsa, who is smart and beautiful and lives in the Seven Kingdoms where selected people are born with a Grace, a special talent that can be anything at all. Katsa's Grace is killing. As the king's niece, she is forced to use her extreme skills as his brutal enforcer. Until the day she meets Prince Po, who is Graced with combat skills, and Katsa's life begins 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 . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone. And don't miss the sequel Fire and companion Bitterblue, both award-winning, New York Times bestsellers, and full of Kristin Cashore's elegant, evocative prose and unforgettable characters.
- ISBN-13: 9780152063962
- ISBN-10: 015206396X
- Publisher: Clarion Books
- Publish Date: October 2008
- Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.27 pounds
- Page Count: 480
- Reading Level: Ages 13-17
Mastering a terrible talent
Normal. Natural. These are words that Katsa would never, could never use to describe herself. How could she be considered normal when she shudders at the thought of falling in love or having a baby? And then there's her unique talent, the one that has brought her infamy through seven kingdoms. If that's not unnatural, what is?
Throughout the kingdoms, there are people gifted with Graces, known as Gracelings. They can be identified by their different-colored eyes and, more importantly, by the unique, almost magical gifts that set them apart from mere mortals. Others have Graces of drawing, singing, dancing, even swimming. So why is Katsa fated to have the most fearsome Grace of allthe Grace of killing?
Katsa's Grace was discovered when, as a young girl, she accidentally killed a relative who made unwanted physical advances. Since then, her life has been marked by the fear and aversion of others, even as she's spent her entire youth learning to control her urges and master her terrible gift. But Katsa's uncle, the ruler of the middle kingdom, also has learned to control Katsa, and she spends her days helping him enact his reign of terror.
Katsa has found small ways to rebel, but she has seen few ways to escape her uncle's tyranny for good. That is, until she meets Po, a prince from the island kingdom of Lienid, and a Graceling himself. Po's unique Grace seems to make him both Katsa's ideal dueling partner and, perhaps, the only man who could break through Katsa's fortifications and into her heart.
Graceling is the first novel in a new series by first-time novelist Kristin Cashore, and it marks the debut of an intriguing new fantasy world and a fantasy author to watch. Cashore strikes a strong balance between adventure, drama and romancebloody battles and sexual tension co-exist in equal measureand Katsa's combination of pride in her unique talents and vulnerability in her self-doubts make her a strongly sympathetic character. Readers will identify closely with this young woman, whose coming of age also involves coming to terms with a talent that is both a blessing and a curse.
Norah Piehl is a writer and editor who lives near Boston.