Monday, March 21, 2022

Graceling (Graceling Realm #1) by Kristin Cashore (author), David Baker (narrator), Chelsea Mixon(narrator), Zachary Exton(narrator), Mark Bruzee(narrator), Richard McKee(narrator), Dominic Lloyd(narrator), Jordan Glaski(narrator), Andrea Leonard(narrator), Mark Austin(narrator), Bruce Coville(narrator), Ben Elms(narrator), Tim Green(narrator), Tate Green(narrator), Kate Huddleston(narrator), Brian Pringle(narrator), Jacob Morris-Knower(narrator), J.P. Crangle(narrator), Alice Morigi(narrator), Daniel Bostick(narrator), Todd Hobin(narrator), Trevor Hill(narrator), Tim Purcell(narrator), John Brackett(narrator), Nathan Bostick(narrator), Greg Banecker(narrator), Seth Danner(narrator), Michael Kavulic(narrator), Peter Moller(narrator), Gerard Moses(narrator), Ian Boudreau(narrator), Kathe Leonard (narrator)

Full Cast Audio), ISBN 9781934180976, June 2009 (original publication October 2008)

Lady Katsa is the niece of King Randa, but more importantly, at least to Randa, is that she's a Graceling--one of the people born with a special power. Katsa's Grace, showing itself at an uncomfortably early age, appears to be killing. Randa has her trained in all the fighting arts, and then uses her as his enforcer. When a prominent subject, or someone he's trading with, or others anger him, he sends Lady Katsa, along with Armsmaster Oll, and Lord Giddon, to deliver his message. Katsa is the one who delivers the painful, or sometimes fatal, part of the message. 

It's not a job she likes, nor do Oll and Giddon. They don't see any way to stop doing the bidding of the king, but on their own time, they're doing something else--organizing missions to use their skills, resources, contacts, and Katsa's Grace, to help people who are being unfairly abused.

They do this through an organization they call the Council, and their latest mission is to rescue an elderly prince of another kingdom, being secretly held in yet another kingdom. He's a harmless old man of no obvious political importance. They do rescue him, and learn that he, too, has no idea why anyone would think he was worth kidnapping. In the process, though, Katsa encounters a young man not much older than she is, who is also a Graceling. She doesn't learn who he is, until they are back in Randa's kingdom.

The unknown Graceling also arrives at Randa's court, He's Prince Po, from the kingdom the newly-rescued elderly prince is from--though Katya, Oll, and their other allies are hiding the man, not telling Randa about him. He's Po's grandfather, and Po wants to get him home to safety, but is persuaded by the argument that as long as they don't know why he was kidnapped in the first place, he's not safe if too many people know where he is.

What follows are two strands of conflict, the search for the perpetrator of the kidnapping (it wasn't the king who was keeping him locked up in secret, who was doing that because he was being paid), and the growing conflict between Randa's demands on Katsa and her own values. They're both going to come to head, and it will change a lot of lives. Along with these major strands, Lord Giddon is in love with Katsa, but in some important ways doesn't understand her at all. He's a good man and shares a lot of her values, but it's simply incomprehensible to him that Katsa is serious about never marrying and never having children. There are other conflicts, and other excellent, interesting, and loyal characters, and brave and tough, and very young, princess, and the development of the characters I've named and ones I haven't is wonderful.

I found this story completely absorbing and satisfying. Worth mentioning: It's a young adult novel, but some might want to be warned that there is one sex scene included.


I bought this audiobook.

No comments:

Post a Comment