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Gracelingby Kristin Cashore
Synopses & Reviews
Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight — she's a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king's thug.
She never expects to fall in love with beautiful Prince Po.
She never expects to learn the truth behind her Grace — or the terrible secret that lies hidden far away...a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.
With elegant, evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, debut author Kristin Cashore creates a mesmerizing world, a death-defying adventure, and a heart-racing romance that will consume you, hold you captive, and leave you wanting more.
"In a land of seven kingdoms, people with special talents, called Gracelings, are identified by their eyes — Katsa's are green and blue, one of each — although she's eight before her specific Grace is identified as a talent for killing. (While in the court of her uncle, King Randa, she swiped at a man attempting to grope her and struck him dead.) By 18 she's King Randa's henchwoman, dispatched to knock heads and lop off appendages when subjects disobey, but she hates the job. As an antidote, she leads a secret council whose members work against corrupt power, and in this role, while rescuing a kidnapped royal, she meets the silver-and-gold — eyed Po, the Graced seventh son of the Lienid king. That these two are destined to be lovers is obvious, though beautiful, defiant Katsa convincingly claims no man will control her. Their exquisitely drawn romance (the sex is offstage) will slake the thirst of Twilight fans, but one measure of this novel's achievements lies in its broad appeal. Tamora Pierce fans will embrace the take-charge heroine; there's also enough political intrigue to recommend it to readers of Megan Whalen Turner's Attolia trilogy. And 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. Ages 14 — up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"An assured fantasy debut....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 (Starred Review)
"Cashore...creates believable characters with enough depth, subtlety, and experience to satisfy older readers....An impressive first novel." Booklist (Starred Review)
"With a butt-kicking but emotionally vulnerable heroine, [Graceling] should appeal to fans of recent girl-power urban fantasies as well as readers who've graduated from Tamora Pierce's Tortall series." The Horn Book Magazine
"Cashore treats readers to compelling and eminently likable characters and a story that draws them in from the first paragraph....This is gorgeous storytelling: exciting, stirring, and accessible. Fantasy and romance readers will be thrilled." School Library Journal (Starred Review)
"Here's a wow of a book! Seeing half-wild Katsa learn humanity as she battles soldiers, storms, and her own obsessive nature — I had to know how it ended!" Tamora Pierce
"Cashore juggles her complicated plot with dexterity rivaling Katsa's....Cashore writes with an assurance that captures the reader....Intrigue, death, love, a little sex, and pitched battles create a sure winner for mature fantasy fans." VOYA
With elegant, evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, a debut author creates a mesmerizing medieval world, a death-defying adventure, and a heart-racing romance that will captivate readers.
Romantic medieval fantasy from a debut author
From New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu comes the second book in the exhilarating Young Elites series
Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends. Then they betrayed her, and she destroyed them all.
Adelina Amouterus heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she and her sister flee Kenettra to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers who nearly killed her.
But Adelina is no heroine. Her powers, fed only by fear and hate, have started to grow beyond her control. She does not trust her newfound Elite friends. Teren Santoro, leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead. And her former friends, Raffaele and the Dagger Society, want to stop her thirst for vengeance. Adelina struggles to cling to the good within her. But how can someone be good, when her very existence depends on darkness?
From the New York Times bestselling author of the Legend series
I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.
Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelinas black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their familys good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fevers survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.
Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but its Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.
Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like theyve never seen.
Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldnt belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.
It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.
About the Author
Kristin Cashore has written for The Horn Book Guide, The Looking Glass: An Online Children's Literature Journal, and Children's Literature in Education. She received a master's degree in children's literature from Simmons College. Graceling is Ms.Cashore's first novel. She lives in Jacksonville, Florida.
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