Katsa is a Graceling, one of those rare people born with a special talent. She's been able to kill grown men since eight years of age. Her uncle, the king, uses her as a simple thug to intimidate, hurt, and kill anyone who displeases him. And Katsa can't disobey.
But when she meets Po, everything changes. She feels friendship, and more than friendship. She discovers new truths about her Grace. And she is forced to face the monsters around her... and the monsters within herself.
Graceling was interesting, not incredibly original but a nice new take on the whole "I have special powers" genre. I like the little twists thrown in, like the fact that the Grace is marked by mismatched eyes. I didn't exactly predict the ending, which is always nice, and overall I liked it. Also, I loved the names, Katsa and Bitterblue especially.
I was hardly blown away by its originality... it was cliche and slow at times, overfast and confusing at others. A decent plot, but not really stellar.
I liked Katsa, although she was a little slow about some things. Po was okay, a little stereotypical and not flawed enough for my tastes. Ditto for the rest of the cast: a lot of okay characters, not a lot of amazing characters.
I will say that Cashore is an amazing writer, minus the fact that I don't particularly like her characters or her plot. Her actual, technical writing is flawless.
End Result: four stars. A good book, definitely worth your time.