This book is exactly the kind of book I live to read right now. So amazing!
Katsa is possibly one of the best-written heroines I have encountered in a long, long time. She is complex, she isn’t as stereotyped as many other female main characters in teen fantasy novels, and, yes, she has someone worthy to fall in love with. Not only that, but when Katsa and Po do fall in love, I believe it. Their romance doesn’t feel rushed, choreographed, or contrived.
While I have complimented many a book on how vivid the worlds they create are on my blog thus far, The Seven Kingdoms (the fictional world where the book is set) is not only vivid, but is as complex as Tolkien’s world (is it called Wilderland?).
Katsa is Graced – that is, she has magical powers. Her power happens to be a supernatural ability to kill. She is the niece of a king, and this king has pressed Katsa into using her Grace as his personal enforcer. As she grows up, Katsa begins to distance herself from her role as the king’s thug and begins to use her grace to help people. In doing so, she meets Po — another Graceling fighter. Together they fight a danger that is spreading through the Seven Kingdoms.
I love that those who are Graced are uncommon, but are identifiable by the fact that they have two different eye colors. I am looking forward to reading Cashore’s next book, Fire.
In other news, I just finished Lauren Oliver’s Delirium. It’s a future where love is considered a disease in the United States, and people are ‘cured’ at the age of 18 so they can never fall in love and then paired with an ideal mate. When Lena is seventeen, just a few months before she is slated to be cured, she falls in love.
So, I didn’t super love this book. Mostly because it didn’t fall under the happy ending mandate, but also because it just wasn’t that great. It was good — it kept me turning the pages — but it wasn’t anything too special. [Lauren Oliver, please note: I think you are a great writer and good on ya for publishing two books so far.]