Monday, October 19, 2009

Review: Graceling

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
4.25 stars

Reasons for reading: heard it was really good - one of our book suppliers said she was recommending it for all teenage girls who asked her for Twilight!; for the Young Adult Challenge

Description: "Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug. When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone."

First line: "In these dungeons, the darkness was complete, but Katsa had a map in her mind."

My thoughts: This book kept me up late into the night, always the sign of a great read! Everything about it is well-done - the fantasy setting of the 7 kingdoms, the idea of people being Graced as everything from swimmers to mind readers to fighters, the characters, the romance, the adventure and conflict...

Katsa really has to grow in this novel - she goes from feeling like nothing more than an attack dog, treated with fear and revulsion by almost everyone, to realizing that she is caring, intelligent, and that her Grace is something more than she realized. She grows into her Grace and, along the way, learns how to care about people and allow them to care about her.

The romance element with Po also works well - it's not treacly at all. These two have finally found a person who is both their equal and a complement to their personalities.

The verdict: I can't wait to read the sequel, Fire! This is a novel that works well as everything - an adventure, a fantasy, a coming-of-age story, and a romance! (I wonder what my Grace would be....?)


sassymonkey said...

This is waiting for me at the library right now. I do believe it will be my third time checking it out. It always seems to come at bad times. But I think it will be the only library book I have checked out so I should probably get to read it this time. lol

Janssen said...

Can't wait to see what you think of Fire - I thought it was even better than Graceling.

Jena said...

I read this last month & it was wonderful. I was sorry when it was over. Can't get Fire through the library yet, though. :P