By Kristin Cashore.
This is the first book I've really, really enjoyed in quite a while. The quotes on the back are all just about right, though I found it interesting that all the quotees were women.
Unlike the usual "girl dresses up as a boy and proves herself as a fighter" story (ahem) Katsa has no need to prove herself. She's unnaturally gifted—Graced— in the fighting arts. One of the things I like so much about this story is that her real struggle is to be able to control herself, her anger, and her pride, and that she realizes her need to do so.
The humor is also the way I like it, as she wrestles a mountain lion ("That thing could have killed me!") and considers the creature a gift.
What I disliked (and what perhaps reminded me of Fire Study, along with the incredibly gifted protagonist) were the vague but steamy love scenes. I kept looking at the "14 and up" on the back cover (well, only twice).
In the end—it was quite enjoyable and, despite the promise of further books on Cashore's blog, feels like a complete story by itself.