Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Plot: In a world where people born with an extreme skill - called a Grace - are feared and exploited, Katsa carries the burden of the skill even she despises: the Grace of killing. She lives under the command of her uncle Randa, King of the Middluns, and is expected to execute his dirty work, punishing and torturing anyone who displeases him.
When she first meets Prince Po, who is Graces with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.
She never expects to become Po's friend.
She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace - or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away...a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.
Good Points: I really liked the main character, Katsa, she's definitely up there with some of the top female heroines in novels such as Katniss and Tris. The whole concept of people being 'graced' in society I thought was unusual yet I loved the idea of how you identify a 'grace' by the colour or in this case colours of their eyes.
The development of the characters was nice yet I have to say somewhat predictable and this was sort of disappointing though there were some surprises along the way whilst reading.
The setting or world Cashore has created is filled with depth and description which I always crave in a book;the main purpose being- to transport you into a different world with new and exciting characters which I think this book successfully accomplished.
The action sequences within the book were written beautifully, in some books the author writes the scene far too quickly and you end up loosing some of the kick ass moves the character makes in battle. In this book, I am glad to say that this didn't happen. In my mind reading the book, the stages of Katsa's dance, if you like, were clear and exciting and this in my opinion just added to the realism that the story produced.
Bad Points: If I am being honest, about halfway through the book I did loose a little bit of interest in what was happening and I think that's why it took me so long to actually finish it. I just didn't think that the books plot was really that exciting and towards the end I wasn't really getting excited about reading it.
To Sum Up... My expectations of this book when I first bought it were really high, everyone had praised it on its originality and Katsa's cool and very kick ass quality. Although I agree that Katsa is a great heroine I just feel that something was missing from this book which I really craved.
Over Christmas I probably will pick up the next two books in the series but I have to admit that I'm still on the fence with this one.
Thanks for reading!