Synopsis: In a world where people are born with an extreme skill - called a Grace - are feared and exploited, Katsa carries the burden of a skill even she despises: the Grace of killing. She lives under the command of her uncle Randa, the Kin of the Middluns, and is expected to execute his dirty work, punishing and torturing anyone who displeases him.
When she first meets Prince Po, who is Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po's friend. She never expects to learn the new truth about her own Grace - or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far way - a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone. (from the back of the book)
Review: I purchased this after reading several favorable reviews. And I was not disappointed. With simple, stark prose, Cashore tells a story full of emotion and depth. Her characters are complex, with real flaws and fears and strengths. Her villain actually scared me. The plot twists, aside from one, were unexpected - and one actually made me gasp. I was easily lost in her world, traveling with her characters as they grew and changed.
The highest praise I can say about this is that not 5 minutes after finishing, I ordered her other two books.
Bookmarks: 8 of 10
Awards: Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year for 2008
Date Finished: 6/9/2013