Imagine that you have been Graced with the ability to defend yourself in any fight and to always prevail even to the death. Now, imagine that you are a woman. A Graceling, Katsa is the niece of a vengeful King who uses her and her unique power to punish errant subjects through torture or worse. This uncle is King Randa, the King of the Middluns, which is one of seven kingdoms. Originally these kingdoms lived in peace but now the leaders do not honor each other as fairly and Katsa has created a clandestine Council that delivers justice.
This is a fabulous tale of a girl on her way to becoming a very powerful woman. She is going to have to confront the control of her Uncle, the control she must master within herself and the lack of control she will face in the world around her. Early in the story, she meets Po, a Lienid prince who has some very special powers of his own. They will share a very special relationship and Katsa will set out to confront the most evil of kings, King Leck whose powers are formidable. It's vibrant. There is a simmering passion and a thrill of walking in the shoes of a woman who is indomitable. What a lovely change. Great for the readers of Tamora Pierce or T.A.Barron. Editor's note: Fire is the sequel