Oh, and one other thing: There will be spoilers.
Wikipedia's list of awards:
Graceling was shortlisted for the ALA's William C. Morris YA Award, is an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, was a Cybils finalist (Fantasy/SF category), and was a finalist for both the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy (the SFWA's award for YA given concurrently with the Nebulas) and the Indies Choice Book Awards (Best Indie Young Adult Buzz Book category). Graceling won the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance 2009 Young Adult SIBA Book Award.
The book also was awarded: Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year 2008 ; School Library Journal Best Books of 2008; Booklist 2008 Top Ten First Novels for Youth; A Booklist's Editor's Choice for 2008-2009; Amelia Bloomer List 2009; Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Finalist; Won Mythopoeic Fantasy Award For Children's literature in 2009; Nominated for 2010 Washington Evergreen Award; Nominated for 2010-2011 Eliot Rosewater Award; On the Bulletin's Center for Children's Books 2009; Blue Ribbon List; 2012 California Young Reader Medal.
For what it's worth, Graceling probably deserves them all.
THE BASIC PREMISE
THE BASIC PREMISE
The story unfolds in a world where certain people are born with Graces. These graces can be anything from cooking awesome pancakes to controlling the weather. The kings claim those with the greatest Graces and forces them into servitude. Those whose Graces are too ordinary to be of use are sent back home to live on the margins of society. Every Grace is a mixed blessing; the recipients 'unique strength becomes their undoing.
Unfortunately, Katsa has a killing Grace.
When she was eight, an unfortunate incident involving her fist and and leering man's nose revealed her ability. Her mother had died of a fever and her father had been killed in battle, so her uncle, King Randa, quickly forces her into his service. His brainwashing and iron control turn her into a brutal enforcer and assassin by the time she is a teen. When the story opens, she is feared by all in the realm - and for good reason. Katsa knows how to kill.