Thumbs up for Graceling by Karen Cashore. Young adult fantasy.
One of the best works of young adult fantasy I’ve read. The plot is fairly straightforward, but what makes it great is Katsa, the main character. The single fantasy element of the universe is that certain people have Graces, which you can think of as superpowers if you like. Katsa has the killing Grace, discovered when she killed a man with her bare hands at age eight. Now imagine how that would mess you up. Yeah? I love so many things about this book. I love that Katsa is not nice, I love the way she struggles to understand other people, I love the way her love interest is handled, I love the fact that she flatly refuses to get married and have kids like every other fantasy heroine ever. And I love the fact that this is not a blinking trilogy – while there are two other books, they follow other characters. You can think of Graceling as Tamora Pierce upgraded.
Something caught in her throat at this second thanks, when she’d threatened him so brutally. When you’re a monster, she thought, you are thanked and praised for not behaving like a monster. She would like to restrain from cruelty and receive no admiration for it.
If you enjoyed this post, please share it!