In today's society, it is nearly impossible for teens to find a role model among the emaciated models and unrealistic characters of reality television shows and movies. Fortunately, authors of the twenty-first century are conjuring up female characters worthy of discussion and admiration. I've decided to highlight one of these characters every week in my newest meme, Queens of Literature. Each post will focus on a fictional heroine from a book I have read who possesses the qualities of a truly incredible woman.
"Normal. She wasn't normal. A girl Graced with killing, a royal thug?"
Who is she?
Lady Katsa, from Kristin Cashore's Graceling, is a Graced killer. She can take on any man and kill him with ease. For that reason, she has been hired by her kingdom to do the dirty work of the king. Despite her deadly skills as an assassin, Katsa has a kind heart. She loves deeply and has a fiery determination that I admire.
The photo is of the actress Astrid Berges-Frisbey. I changed her eye colors to match Katsa's, and I think she looks perfect for the role. The only difference is that Katsa keeps her hair cut pretty short.
She would like to restrain from cruelty and receive no admiration for it.
“I'm not going to wear a red dress," she said.
"It's the color of sunrise," Helda said.
"It's the color of blood," Katsa said.
Sighing, Helda carried the dress from the bathing room. "It would look stunning, My Lady," she called, "with your dark hair and your eyes."
Katsa yanked at one of the more stubborn knots in her hair. She spoke to the bubbles gathered on the surface of the water. "If there's anyone I wish to stun at dinner, I'll hit him in the face.”
“Uncle," she said. "Let me explain what will happen the instant one of your men makes a move toward me. Let's say, for instance, one of your archers lets an arrow fly. You've not come to many of my practices, Uncle. You haven't seen me dodge arrows; but your archers have. If one or your archers releases an arrow, I'll drop to the floor. The arrow will doubtless hit one of your guards. The sword and the dagger of that guard will be in my hands before anyone in the room has time to realize what's happened. A fight will break out with the guards; but only seven or eight of them can surround me at once, Uncle, and seven or eight is nothing to me. As I kill the guards I'll take their daggers and begin throwing them into the hearts of your archers, who of course will have no sighting on me once the brawl with the guards has broken out. I'll get out of the room alive, Uncle, but most of the rest of you will be dead. Of course, this is only what will happen if I wait for one of your men to make a move. I could move first. I could attack a guard, steal his dagger, and hurl it into your chest this instant.”
How absurd it was that in all seven kingdoms, the weakest and most vulnerable of people - girls, women - went unarmed and were taught nothing of fighting, while the strong were trained to the highest reaches of their skill.
Skye kissed her forehead. "You saved my life."
Katsa smiled. "You Lienid are very outward in your affection."
"I'm going to name my firstborn child after you."
Katsa laughed at that. "For the child's sake, wait for a girl. Or even better, wait until all your children are older and give my name to whichever is the most troublesome and obstinate."
Skye burst into laughter and hugged her, and Katsa returned his embrace. And realized that quite without her intending it, her guarded heart had made another friend.
“You won't even take your bow? Are you planning to throttle a moose with your bare hands, then?"
"I've a knife in my boot," she said, and then wondered, for a moment, if she could throttle a moose with her bare hands.
Katsa didn't think a person should thank her for not causing pain. Causing joy was worthy of thanks, and causing pain worthy of disgust. Causing neither was neither, it was nothing, and nothing didn't warrant thanks.