I am not qualified to review this book.

Why, do you ask, would I then title this entry “book review?”

Well, you see, I started this book and fell in love with both the main characters. I love them so much, it’s impossible for me to tell if the writing is good or bad. I don’t care when both main characters put their heads in their hands all the time, or suspend my disbelief that someone could hide the fact that they mind read from their own family.

These things don’t matter because Katsa, the girl who could kill with her bare hands from age eight and now is desperately trying not to be a monster, and Po, who has hidden himself his whole life and wants nothing more than acceptance for who he truly is, are wonderful, fallible, believable, and confused.

So while on the outside, this book is a adventure fantasy with a girl trying to stop an evil king from hurting small animals and children (no, don’t laugh, that’s a true major plot point) really the heart of the book is people struggling to know how they can fit in the world without losing themselves; to kingly authority, to lovers, and to their work.

It’s about belonging to oneself.

And so in the end, the author pulls off a Happily Ever After wherein the heroine does not get “tamed” by the more worldly and wise alpha hero, but ends up getting him to agree to a relationship where they support eachother without marriage or other societal bonds.

Excellent, excellent book. And now I have to wait for the prequel, Fire.