It's a fantasy novel. Some people have extraordinary skills - called Graces - and you can spot them by looking at their eyes: they will have different colours. Like one blue eye and one green eye. Or one grey eye and one blue eye. Or one silver eye and one gold eye (why limit yourself to the range of natural human eye colours?!). In most of the world (in six of the seven kingdoms, basically), though, Gracelings are feared and shunned. So unless if you have an awesome or useful (for your king) Grace, your life will suck.
Anyways, this story is Katsa's. She is the niece to a bullying king, who has used her Grace to his gain by making her his right-hand woman as it is, the lady he can send to kill anyone, who'll do it effortlessly and that thus terrifies all of his underlords. But Katsa's obviously unhappy with this life, and then A WILD PLOT APPEARS.
KATSA USES RAGE (for all of the first part)
IT'S NOT VERY EFFECTIVE.
A WILD PLOT USES TWIST!
IT'S SUPER EFFECTIVE!
KATSA UNDERGOES CHARACTER GROWTH!
KATSA USES ANGST!
IT'S REALLY NOT EFFECTIVE.
A WILD PLOT USES NOT-QUITE-MELO-DRAMA!
471 pages, 39 chapters, three distinctive sections later: I still think Katsa's Grace is very... convenient.
It was an okay read - not extraordinary, but not bad either - which is pretty normal considering it's Kristin Cashore's first novel. It dealt with issues ranging from dealing with prejudice, what it means to be independant, and understanding your limitations (even if you're a seemingly invincible character like the protagonist, Katsa). I would definitely reccomend it to any teen who likes fantasy fiction.