Although intended for a younger audience, it translated well for adults as well. The story is about Katsa learning to accept herself for what she is and finding her place in the world. The author, Kristin Cashore, sets the story in a world that is divided into seven main kingdoms. People with eyes two different colors are graced with a talent and are called gracelings. These talents can be anything from dancing to sewing and in Katsa's case, fighting. Katsa serves as her king's strong arm and often has to do work that is distasteful to her. She rebels against his tyranny by performing good deeds. It is during the course of one these acts that she meets Po, another graceling who is gifted with combat skills. Through him she finds out the truth about her grace and embarks on an adventure that has her growing into her own.
Katsa makes this book an excellent read. She is a strong female character who doesn't need saving. In fact, she does most of the saving herself. The way she looks at the world and the self assurance she has will keep the reader interested even during the slow parts.
The book has plenty of action and intrigue which adds depth to the story and characters. The reader will find themselves drawn into the action and unable to put the book down. This is an excellent first book. I am looking forward to more from this author.