In the land of the Seven Kingdoms there are people born with special abilities, and the way to tell them apart is by their eyes – one of each colour. They are called Gracelings, and their power is their Grace. Katsa is a Graceling, and her Grace is killing, which is exploited by her cousin, the King – Katsa is his assassin and thug, doing his dirty work intimidating, maiming and killing whoever opposes him.
But Katsa keeps her mind, and has started to do some work on her own, trying to put right the wrongs done by all the Kings of the Seven Kingdoms. And when the Lienid King's father is kidnapped, she has to investigate.
This kidnapping is the connecting thread in the story, present from beginning to end, and although more quests and subplots are added to it, it does not deviate from wanting to know who kidnapped Grampa. That was one of the main things I loved about Graceling, the fact that by the end of the book I could still see the connection to the beginning of the story.
One thing that I can say about this book is that it was so much fun to read. I had a smile plastered on my face the entire time (which meant people looking at me oddly on the train), and there were a lot of parts where I was chuckling and snickering.
The story was very captivating, even if not exactly surprising. It reads well as a standalone (although there is prequel published and a sequel announced), the story has a beginning and an end. And regarding the ending, I confess to be dreading it when I was coming close to the last pages. There were merely 50 pages ahead of me and most of the plot was yet unresolved, and with no prospects of being resolved soon. But I needn't fear – when the end came about it was perfect and fulfilling.
I loved the characters one this book (so much that it saddens me that Fire is a prequel and not a sequel). It was easy to love all the good characters, and fear the evil ones. And even if the ending was fulfilling to the point that I consider the story finished, I still want more, more adventures with those characters, more time exploring that world, because I absolutely loved it.
Graceling is a very good fantasy book, that seemed almost impossible to put down. And that smile that I had when I was reading stayed on my face long after I finished the last page. Truth be told, it comes back every time I think about this book. A fun read, and most importantly a great read.