Katsa has been able to kill people with her bare hands since she was eight. She lives in the seven kingdoms, where very occasionally, a person is born with an extreme skill called a Grace — though not every Grace is as frightening as Katsa’s. Gracelings are feared and exploited in the seven kingdoms, none moreso than Katsa, who’s expected to do the dirty work of torture and punishment for her uncle, King Randa. But then she meets a mysterious stranger named Po, who’s also a Graced fighter and the first person ever to challenge her in a fight. Together, Katsa and Po are thrown into a mystery that brings them face-to-face with a terrible danger spreading slowly through the seven kingdoms.
Published in 2008, Graceling has been translated into thirty-three languages and is on Time Magazine’s list of the 100 Best YA Books of All Time. A New York Times bestseller, it is the winner of the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature and a finalist for the William C. Morris Award and the Andre Norton Award.
“In a tale filled with graphic violence and subtle heartbreak, gentle passion and savage kindness, matter-of-fact heroics and bleak beauty, no defeat is ever total and no triumph comes without cost. Grace-full, in every sense.” — Kirkus Reviews
“While adult readers, too, will enjoy the author’s originality, the writing is perfectly pitched at teens struggling to put their own talents to good use. With this riveting debut, Cashore has set the bar exceedingly high.” — Publisher’s Weekly
“This is gorgeous storytelling: exciting, stirring, and accessible. Fantasy and romance readers will be thrilled.” — School Library Journal
“[An] eccentric and absorbing first novel…. [Katsa] is the girl’s dream of female power unloosed…. Cashore offers an acute portrayal of sexual awakening: ambivalent, rageful, exhilarating, wistful in turns.” — The New York Times Book Review