Author: Kristen Cashore
Publisher: Harcourt Books
For Ages: 13 and up
With one blue eye and one green eye, Katsa is “graced” with super strength and fighting skills. She’s worked as King Randa’s hired killer since she was eight years old but hates that the king shows her off as his lethal girl-toy. Katsa’s afraid she’s nothing more than an angry killer until her secret council work launches her on a journey that will not only change her life, but also helps her understand the true nature of her “grace”.
The story started off kind of slow for the first 80 pages, but once the action started, I was completely sucked in and read the last 400 pages in just two days. Graceling has a little bit of everything: romance, action, intrigue, and self-discovery, plus a strong, realistic, and likeable heroine.
Parent Note: There is some sex but it’s vaguely described and not graphically detailed. The characters think things through carefully before deciding to have sex, use birth control, and are very caring of each other.