Graceling by Kristin Cashore was recommended to me and I'm so glad it was! I REALLY, REALLY loved this book! The main character is a young woman named Katsa who KICKS BUTT!
The story revolves around Katsa and her ability or “grace” of fighting. The world is in a Middle Ages setting with kings and kingdoms. Katsa's uncle is one of the Kings and she is used by him to punish those who he feels deserves it. She struggles with this role and behind her uncle's back, begins to perform heroic acts all around the seven kingdoms with the help of her close friends and allies.
As the story progresses she comes across others who also have “graces” and begins to understand that she is not alone in the world. After years of being sheltered and feared by those around her, the reader sees her develop into someone who is less closed off and begins to trust herself and others.
I loved the action in this book as well as the romance. In my opinion, it's well rounded and I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the trilogy!