I first discovered Graceling when I was at school in Alabama. Every year we received hundreds of books, both young adult, children’s and picture books to review. At the end of the year, the young adult professor (also who I was a graduate assistant for during my last semester in school) would hold a book sale, and sell the books that he didn’t want to keep. All the profits went towards a multicultural conference that he led each year.
To make a long story short, Graceling was among those books. It intrigued me, as it was a fantasy, so I picked it up…and was lucky enough to get Fire, the companion novel at the next book sale.
Graceling is set in a world where some people are graced with (excuse my pun) a Grace, something that sets them apart, that they can do very well. It could be a swimming Grace, or some kind of a fighting Grace. There are some pointless Graces, but you can see that some Graces could easily be turned against people and used for evil.
Katsa, the main character, has one such Grace. Her Grace was discovered when she was only 8 years old, and accidentally killed an adult cousin who tried to touch her inappropriately. She is Graced with the ability to kill. Though Katsa, in her heart, is a kind girl, she is used by her uncle to carry out her dirty work, something she hates.
After disobeying the king and her new friend, Po’s father, Katsa is forced to leave her hated uncle. She travels with Po to the kingdom of King Leck, who has a history of murder, yet, for some strange reason, no one can say anything bad about him.
As Po and Katsa travel to Leck, encountering strange things and adventures along the way, they learn more about themselves and each other, revealing their own secrets that they did not even know about themselves.
If you have read Graceling, you should also read Fire, a companion book that takes place about 35 years before Graceling. If you haven’t read Graceling, then what are you waiting for? Both are excellent reads, especially if you love a good YA love story, like myself. Of course there is adventure and excitement in it as well, to keep you interested.