The Seven Kingdoms #1
Written: Kristin Cashore
Published: October 2008
Publisher: Harcourt Children’s
Obtained via: Gift
Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.
When she first meets Prince Po, 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 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.
This book kept me up until 2am. I had no intention of staying up this late, and even though I read this on a Friday, I am still ticked off about it.
Katsa is the teenage assassin of a king. Her job is to kill or torture anyone her king points her toward. So – it’s your typical coming-of-age story, really. Katsa struggles to find herself while under the yoke of her king and then strikes out on her own to solve a mystery, fall in love, and save the world.
It’s what I wanted as a teenager. Didn’t you?
This book also has the creepiest bad guy I’ve run across in a long, long time. I won’t spoil it for you, but – Wow. Creeptastic.
The romance is sweet and tender. I love that it’s so clear and true – no ambiguous love triangle, like I’ve seen in so many other young adult novels lately. Stable couples have become a personal preference of mine.
Only pick up this book when you’re ready to devote the time to finish it. One page will hook you and you’ll look up hours later to realize you’ve spent all day (or night) caught in the grip of Kristin Cashore’s world.
You’ve been warned.
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