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Cashore, Kristen.
New York : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008
ISBN 015206396X

(2 booktalks)

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Booktalk #1

This is a fantasy world where a small percentage of the population are born with Graces – special abilities of all types. For instance, someone might have the Grace of cooking skill and be raised in the King’s kitchens. Or the Grace of swimming or archery or running really fast. Or the Grace of being able to tell really bad jokes – not all Graces are useful. But all Gracelings do have one feature – mismatched eyes. Katsa has the Grace of killing and therefore is the King’s assassin. But she’s tired of killing people over petty political squabbles so she starts fighting back in secret, using her Grace to help the very people her King wants hurt. And then she meets Po, who also has a killing Grace, and things get really complicated.

Add a psychotic evil with an unimaginable Grace, a little girl who can save the world, and an amazing fantasy world that you will want to immerse yourself in – and you have one exciting fantasy adventure romance. The sequel, Fire, is more of a companion novel about another amazing woman in a neighboring kingdom, and the third book, Bitterblue, due out later this year, hopefully will bring the stories together.  (Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award, 2011)

Booktalk #2

Identified by her one green eye and one blue, Katsa is a graceling. She is one of the very few born with a special gift, or “grace.” Graceling book cover

King Randa, Katsa's uncle, is one of seven kings that rule the seven kingdoms of the land. When she is eight, he recognizes her gift as the ability to kill. By the time she is eighteen, she has become his enforcer, sent to torture those whom Randa finds disloyal.

Katsa hates her job and rebels by leading a
secret council fighting for justice and fairness against the corrupt rules of the land. While rescuing the kidnapped father of the King of Lienid, Katsa meets Po, the king's son. Po is a silver- and gold-eyed graceling. They seem destined to be together.

In a mortally dangerous mission, Katsa and Po set out to save Bitterblue who is held by King Leck. Though much admired, King Leck actually has the ability to deceive, and he uses it for his own evil purposes. Together, Katsa and Po stand a chance of success. But when Po becomes injured, Katsa must decide whether to save Po—or try to complete the mission alone.
(booktalk from Mackin booktalks, author unidentified for The Washington Evergreen Young Adult Book Award, 2011)

SUBJECTS:      Murder -- Fiction.
                        Ability -- Fiction.
                        Magic -- Fiction.
                        Good and evil -- Fiction.

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