In the Seven Kingdoms, people born with an extreme skill, "Grace", are feared and exploited. Katsa herself despises hers, killing. Her uncle Randa, King of the Middluns, commands her to punish and torture his enemies. Prince Po, with combat skills, becomes her friend, and she learns terrible truths about her Grace and a secret hidden far away that could destroy the realm.
I love this book although I didn't love Katsa. Well, initially, at least.
Firstly, why I didn't like Katsa was that she acts like a brat but calling her that is not fully correct. She's the opposite of your typical brat if that makes sense.
Typical Brat vs Katsa
TB: Mommee! This dress is too ugly! I want that pinkish princessy dress over there!!! *Pouts*
Okay, that's a younger version of a brat. I can't possibly compare that to Katsa since she's way older than that.
Here's an older version.
Typical Brat (or Bitch, you choose) vs Katsa
TB: That dress. Yes, get it for me you dullards. Yes! Put it on me. My hair next you idiots! I want my hair to be super super perfect! That's crappy work! Redo! (And so on...)
Katsa: Don't! I never ever want to wear a dress! *glares* It's horribly itchy and bla bla bla. I hate them. I rather run round the world a million times than wear 'em. They suck. My hair! It's so horribly long and has knots. Chop them off, short as possible. The shorter the merrier. (And it goes on... You get the idea.)
My main problem was Katsa. Other than that, the book was brilliant. But wait! I'm not done with... with this Katsa. Besides being a 'brat', she's got a problem with marriage too. She thinks that once she's married, she'll forever be her partner's no matter how much freedom she is given by him. Oh yeah, I didn't know you even cared. Isn't freedom enough? And, she's got this favourite habit of hers. She loves glaring at people, be it death glares or shooting daggers. Boy, she loves glaring a lot. Perhaps glaring is one of her Grace too.
Other than that, Katsa improved character as the story progresses which is a massive amount of relief, partly because of Po. But she's still a tiny bit bratty though.
Po. I love you Po even if you remind me of a fat panda. You're so kind and patient with Katsa and those silver and gold eyes! But why did you get yourself... (spoiler)? When you lost that, I was depressed. Really, no kidding. I was kinda depressed when the book ended. Because I know there won't be another book of you from Katsa's POV. Ok, maybe she wasn't so bad after all.
Now about the plot. The plot was fantastique. I can't really go into it without giving away spoilers but it was rather great. At least for me 'cause I'm not really a fan of fantasy, partly because I find the words used are a bit hard to understand.
Overall, I'd recommend this. If you don't mind Katsa.