If you know anything about me, you’ll know that Shannon Hale and Gail Carson Levine are two authors that have dreamed up books that made a handprint on my childhood. They are lively and they are uplifting and they shine girls in a light that the media and history turn a blind eye to.
Well, now I am going to add Kristin Cashmore to that list.
She writes exactly like those two ladies mentioned about, but for a slightly older age group. She grasps the fairytale feel by the hand and wrote this story about a girl who is stronger than her male-counterparts and believes in being a strong, independent woman who doesn’t need a man.
That phrase couldn’t describe a character better. Katsa literally doesn’t want to get married and doesn’t want kids. She doesn’t want a politically-binding marriage where she is supposed to be on the sidelines and just support her husband and his ambitions. She wants to support her own ambitions.
Katsa is a Graceling, meaning she has two-colored eyes and has a special ability of some sort.
Her ability is death. She is an amazing fighter and she never loses. She is a gifted-killer. So what does her uncle king do with that information? He uses her to take out all of the people against him, or really anyone who won’t just do what he says.
But she doesn’t like doing what she is doing and doesn’t see a way out of it until she meets a fellow Graceling named Po. He is a skilled fighter as well, but not as good as Katsa. He has an underlining secret that could get him killed. When Katsa finds out, she isn’t sure she can trust him. But she doesn’t get a chance to find out because there are troubles in the neighboring kingdoms.
There is a king who is after a family member of Po’s and they have to find out why. And when they do… the two of them are the only ones who can put everything back the way it needed to be. Sociopaths are a real thing and I am happy someone wrote about one so well in a fantasy setting. Like what if someone so corrupt got such a powerful gift? The answer is in this book; which by the way, this king is so well written that I was scared out of my wits.
And the audio for this book is a full-cast and it was amazing. I read along to it and just found myself lost in how well it was told.
This whole story was so enchanting.
I didn’t know I needed to read this book until I was finally in the middle of it. It’s so empowering and shows you how important trust is and self-preservation and self-love. I feel as if not only women and girls need to read this, but boys and men. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a story that grabs you by the eyes and pours into your soul.