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This review first appeared on subverting the text in June 2009.

Graceling, Kristin Cashore: It's time for another exciting installment of Renay Finds Gay Subtext Unexpectedly And Becomes Obsessed. First, perhaps I should tell you about this book I read that I liked so much I read it twice less than a month apart. This never happens, unless you're John Green, and there's only one John Green that writes fabulous, thinky YA and I am fairly certain that Kristin Cashore is not John Green! In fact, if she is, then John Green has been keeping some secrets! Huge ones! Shaped like a uterus.

Katsa has one blue eye and one green eye. Wait! I know what you're thinking: special eyes? Renay, are you trying to get me to read questionable Mary Sue fanfic? On any other day, you might be right, because I am tricky like that, but this is not that day. Katsa's blue eye and green eye mark her as Graced—Graced with the power to kill anyone in any circumstances. Because of her special Grace, her uncle, King Randa of the Middluns, kept Katsa from a small child as his personal, one-woman brute squad, using Katsa's skills to bully other lords out of money, property or to punish them for trespasses small and large. Katsa's reputation throughout the Seven Kingdoms is well-known. As the story opens, she is beginning to resent Randa for his orders and herself for being kept like a dog, so much so she has created a secret Council unbeknownest to Randa—a council that does good works throughout the kingdoms. It's these works that lead Katsa to the mission that will change her life. Read more... )


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