Graceling by Kristin Cashore a fresh take on a classic plot

Graceling, by Kristin Cashore,  is an exciting book of self discovery that takes readers on an inspiring journey through the snow-topped mountains, thick forests, and salty seas of the Seven Kingdoms. The beautiful imagery, interesting characters and a timeless plot make this young adult novel a great read.

By the time she’s seven years old, Katsa is a trained killing machine. Graced with supernatural strength, speed, and skill with weapons, she becomes her King’s punisher. Katsa’s just about given up on ever having a real life, of ever being seen as anything but a monster. Until Graceling Prince Greening of the Leinid shows up. The Prince, Po for short, shows her that she’s more than a king’s killer, giving her the strength to take control of her life for the first time. Katsa and Po join forces to stop a subtle evil spreading its influence across the seven kingdoms. The brutality they discover will shock even Katsa.

Cashore has a beautiful way of describing everything. From the shining cliffs and castle walls of Ror’s City to the menacing look of King Leck, every scene and every character comes to life. One of the most intriguing ideas descriptions lies in the Gracelings’ appearance: every Graceling is set apart from the normal populace not just by their skill, but by their two different colored eyes. Katsa has one brilliant green eye and one bright blue eye. while Po has one silver and one gold.

And Katsa and Po, while Graced, are still real and easy to relate to, especially for young adults. Everybody’s felt at some point that they had no control over their life, like Katsa. But she pushes through her problems with the help and encouragement of Po, discovering new depths to her Grace.

Po, the youngest Prince of the Leinid and the seventh son, seems to have everything: a loving family, a beautiful home, and a fighting Grace that keeps him safe. But he’s hiding something, a secret he keeps from those he loves.

The plot itself isn’t that original: two characters start a journey to save their world and end up falling in love along the way. But it’s a classic plot for a reason: it works. The fresh characters and the stunning imagery fill the plot and make the pages fly by.

So follow Katsa on her journey through the seven kingdoms. Sometimes it takes a killer to save a life.

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