This is probably my favorite recent book for 'strong female lead.' Cashore does an incredible job showing the development of Katsa as she tries to find her own identity despite the competing demands of the men in her society. As with most books, each time I read it I appreciate the craft in new ways.
I just finished the book for my third time last night. While I enjoyed the book on my first read about 1 1/2 years ago, I noticed more of the suspense (in the mountain pass) and of Katsa's development (as she decided whether to accept Po as a lover) in this reading.
A phenomenal novel.